Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Gridiron

Based on the noises emanating from my living room, I think there may be some sort of sporting event on right now.

I jest, of course.  I doubt there is anyone in the U.S. who is not aware that today is the Superbowl.  They may not be able to tell you who's playing (I can't) or be watching it (I'm not), but I'm pretty sure they know it's there.  Even though I'm blissfully football-ignorant, I still used it as inspiration for today's ride.

My Gridiron.  It's much more interesting than the other one.

I was really unmotivated today.  It's cold again, and I'm bored with serpentines and transitions.  So I set up some poles to trot over to add to the variety.  I even raised up the middle one, just to make things really exciting.  I put it right in the dead center of the arena, so that we'd be able to work around it or through it as needed.

Spider was about as enthusiastic about working as I was.  We had to have a couple little arguments about how he was going to behave.  No matter how many times I tell him that "forward and round will keep him sound", he still has days when he'd rather slog around on his forehand with a hollow back and his head in the air.  I have days like that, too.

We eventually worked it out with some strong half-halts and many transitions, and I put him over the cavaletti at trot.  After just a couple times over them, Spider felt much more elastic and supple.  So, I tried something new:  We went over the cavaletti at trot, then picked up the canter in left lead.  The canter felt nice, energetic but still supple, so I asked for a bit of counter-canter by changing direction.  I got a lovely counter-canter, so I rode it all the way around until we got back to the cavaletti, then transitioned down to trot over the poles and back up to canter (right lead this time).  Same deal: counter-canter around, back to trot over the poles, then left lead.  We repeated our new exercise a few times, then called it a day.  Spider had stayed soft and supple throughout this new exercise, and I didn't really want to push him beyond that.

I think that's a lot more interesting than any old football game.  


  1. More interesting and a lot more fun than a football game!

  2. Decidedly more fun than a football game.

    Grids are great for all kinds of work. Yours looks well spaced and obviously effective since it developed Spider's canter to well.

    Oh, by the way, the NJ/NY Giants won. It's a big deal to the non horsey population, for some reason. *G*

  3. Even me over the pind I knew that was the SuperBowl with Madonna doing a midparty show!!!
    Thanks Jean to let me know who wan. It was an info that eluded me ;-)

    Great idea about pole work.
    Unfortunately we are hit by the arctic cold -15 degrees Celcuis. Don't know in Farenheit. My hubby fell and has torn his knee ligament so he is in hospital
    So Hybb in hospital + snow/ice on road = not seeing my mare for a while :-(

    But I have been thinking of pole work too ^-^

  4. What an interesting exercise!!

    My favorite part about the Superbowl (besides the funny commercials that I look up online later instead of watching the game) is that it means football season is over lol. I get so sick of hearing about football, especially on Facebook. Makes me want to start spouting off the details of my horse's diet and bathroom habits just to give them a taste of their own medicine LOL!


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