Thursday, October 29, 2009

Monday's Ride

I haven't gotten out to ride much this week (deja vu, anyone?). The weather's been miserable. I've also discovered a significant drawback to my turf footing, it doesn't drain as quickly as a regular ring, and wet grass is slippery and prone to divots. I don't know why I didn't realize that was going to happen. It's one of those "D'oh!" moments. My husband has promised to build me a proper ring next spring, though. Lucky me to have married a man who thinks farm work is fun.

I did manage to ride on Monday. I changed Spider's bit from the bradoon he had been going in to the Herm Sprenger Aurigan french link snaffle I paid an obscene amount of money for and never use, just to see if it would change anything. I didn't really notice too much of a difference. I've always kind of suspected those things were a racket, anyway. As my grandfather would say, "They catch more fisherman than fish."

Spider did fairly well, it was just a short ride so we didn't really get to any complicated stuff. His trot was a bit of a mess, but his walk and canter were lovely. Spider never seems to have all three gaits going well at once. Either his trot is good and his canter is a disaster or his canter is good and his trot is a disaster. At least his walk is consistant.

Since his trot was rather choppy and braced, I decided to start off working on the walk and canter. After some lateral work at the walk I developed a nice collected walk and did some walk-canter departs, I didn't really have time to work on canter-walk properly, so I just did the downward transitions through trot. I had him lenghten and collect the canter on a circle, then back to walk- lengthen, collect, then canter. After a half hour or so of that his trot had improved enough to do some shoulder in and haunches in at trot, although he did tend to brace a bit in the beginning when I asked for the haunches in. I let him stretch down in the trot, changing directions a few times to keep him off his forehand, then brought him down to a free walk for his cool down. I decided to play around a bit while cooling him down, so I dropped the reins and began steering him with just my seat. It's a fun thing I do every so often to test myself. Everyone knows that we're supposed to be steering from the seat, but how many of us can actually drop the reins and do it accurately? Spider's pretty good at it, we were able to do pretty intricate patterns without running into anything. I used this same exercise to teach him to neck rein after I bought him (a useful thing for any horse to know, in my opinion).

Hopefully my ring will be in good enough shape to ride on tonight. If not, then I guess I'll be a weekend warrior. Although, I think I saw rain in the forecast for this weekend.....


  1. Yes you are very lucky to have a partner that willing. My OH is the same, he will always try and help me or horses so I can't complain. We have a lot of friends who live on acreage because the women are into horses and the husbands aren't but the women never do anything to help around the property and they wonder why their partners get so cranky! If I can't help I at least stand by so I can keep him company, offer support and show my appreciation that he gives up his spare time to help me and my ponies!

  2. Oh, a real ring. Very exciting.

    Bits are a racket, for the most part. They're fun to buy because they're shiny and usually reasonably priced (excluded HS, of course). And besides, who knows when you might need that bit you just bought? I have three... and I always have my eyes open for others. >.>

    Good luck with the riding! Weather is miserable here, too.

  3. I use Sprenger copies of the losenge bit on my big Boys. I got the bits years ago before HS went after the company making the copies.

    I used to hate riding on the grass. Even when it was dry, my PJ used to slip because he had very wide, flat feet. A "sharper" narrower kind of hoof is OK, though...except when it's this wet. Yuck!

    My sand holds up pretty well. But I also have excellent natural drainage on my property--live over an aquifer.


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