Tuesday, January 4, 2011

No Excuses

It's cold. Really cold. I didn't really want to ride today. So, I wandered out to see if my arena was frozen. It wasn't. No excuse there.

So, I saddled up the horse and off we went. We warmed up. He wanted to be goofy. So, we went straight to canter work. I cantered the goofy out, then we did some more of those shallow serpentines I wrote about last time. From there, I decided to try something a bit harder. I put him on a twenty meter circle in canter. The goal was to do four strides of canter, then transition down and do four strides of trot, then back to four strides of canter, etc. Not sure why I picked four strides, that was pretty arbitrary. But it really wasn't about the number of strides. The point was to get thinking about the transitions and get Spider active.

It wasn't perfect. We totally nailed the four canter strides. Not so much the trot strides. I always forget to ride the downward transition. I know better, I know to ride all the transitions. I just don't always do it. So it ended up being four canter strides and like eight trot strides for the most part. At the end, I actually managed to get four trot strides tracking left. I was pretty proud of that, left is our hard direction.

Bolstered by my transition success, I did some more of the shallow serpentines and then went for broke. Rather than turning back for the rail at X, I kept going straight across. That's right, I was going for the full figure eight - no change of lead. And he did it! Full figure eight, no lead change. The counter canter wasn't the prettiest, but he did it. And tracking left! So, then we did right lead. No problems. I told him he was the finest piece of horse flesh on the planet and we called it a day.

The best part: When I got off he was all foamed up around the bit. It was truly the icing on the cake!


  1. The four trot strides part of th exercise was the hard part, so if you didn't always get that, don't feel bad. The balance of going from canter down to trot is tricky and to trot only for a short time demands some pretty accurate effort. So, pat both yourselves on the back for the progress you made.

    And excellent work in the counter canter as well. It is, as we have "discussed" a very important exercise in developing the canter and suppleness.

    You and Spider had an auspicious workout today!

    Glad to know that footing of yours is good too. Trouble is, as you found out, it's not going to give you many excuses if you really don't feel like riding....*lol*

  2. Virtual high five!

    It seems like we have the best rides when I manage to overcome inertia and saddle up anyway :)

  3. Good for you, send some of that motivation this way!!


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