Tuesday, July 27, 2010


The thunderstorms rolled in Sunday evening, bringing an end to this evil heat wave. My arena weathered the torrential downpour quite nicely (Yay!). There was only one puddle after the storms had passed, and it dried up within a half hour. I'm a little surprised, my do-it-yourself projects don't usually end up this well.

I finally managed to get out to ride yeterday evening. By then, the footing was just about perfect: not too dry, not too wet. It's a little thin in spots, a little deep in others and it could stand to have more rubber, but overall it's pretty darn good. The rubber needs to be mixed in a little better, too. But that will come with time. It's still a work in progress.

Since there was no heat or humidity and good footing , I had no excuses to not actually do some work. And work we did! As I sit here typing this, I am acutely aware of several muscles that I have not used in some time. I am pleased to say that I have no soreness in the insides of my thighs, though. That means I wasn't gripping with them. I was concentrating very hard on not gripping with my thighs the entire time I was riding, it's nice to know that it paid off.

We only worked for about 30 minutes. That's not counting warm-up and cool down, so it was thirty minutes of hard work. We did lots of transitions and serpentines at the walk and trot. Baby steps to get us thinking forward and off the forehand. Then we did some shoulder in before I asked for canter. I like to do a shoulder in before cantering because Spider tends to bring his hind quarters in at the canter, shoulder in helps prevent that. It also gets him to put more weight in his hind end to smooth the upward transition. His right lead canter was good, we did a full loop of the arena in that. His left lead canter was very unbalanced. I ended up turning him onto a twenty meter circle to try to correct it a bit. We'll be working on that.

My overall impression of the ride was that it felt like a green rider on a green horse. Wiggly and out of balance. Not what it should have felt like, but I suppose it's to be expected. We haven't done any work in about two months and before that he wasn't under saddle, just doing ground work. Now I have to fix it. Which means starting over at the beginning, as though he were a young horse. Trying to put him back together too quickly will just make him sour or lame. Or me sour or lame. It's frustrating, but it should go quickly since the training is there, just not the fitness.


  1. I expect it'll come together again pretty quickly for both of you - nice that your arena has turned out so well!

  2. Great news about the arena! Mine was done by guys with contractor's equipment--although just by eye and not pro ring builders--and I have Lake Follywood to contend with when it rains. *G* You've made out super well for a do-it-yourself effort.

    I'll be starting my guys all over once I start riding again. Probably should take advantage of this new weather front, but I am not an optimist, nor ambitious enough. You put me to shame.

  3. I'll be interested to read about you getting him back in shape. I know all about needing more balance at the canter :)

  4. I love your blog, I am learning SO MUCH.
    What does the rubber do? I have never seen a arena with rubber in.

    I love your reminder about not gripping with tights. I am off the saddle for 6 weeks, so I am taking notes to remind me when I start again in September!

  5. Hooray! It's so great to have a good arena. Congrats on being back in the saddle.


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