Liz hooked me up with a bunch of exercise ideas on Pinterest. Apparently I have a Pinterest account that I had long forgotten about and she found me there to share a ton of ideas. Eeyore now hates you Liz 😉
The last time I rode was Thursday last week. The forecasted rain hit Friday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday and it was a bad rain. Thunderstorms and down pours. The ground was getting really hard and the pollen absurdly bad so the rain was much needed, but Fat Boy did not need a week off right now.
Still he was calm and cool to get groomed and tacked. I think it’s probably time to stop mentioning that as it is now the norm. Yay for progress!!!
The arena had been flooded by Tuesday night. Thankfully yesterday was 80 and sunny so most of the standing water was gone by dinner and I felt comfortable doing w/t/c over ground poles. I quickly scanned through all my new options and landed on this one. It was perfect looking.
It didn’t disappoint either. I’ve mentioned before how I gravitate towards exercises that give me plenty of options for work on different skills without having to get off and change anything. Laziness mostly, but when you ride alone it’s not as practical to have to spend 20 minutes dragging poles and standards all over the place.
This one is…wow. So much fun.
He warmed up pretty well for having not been worked for a week. He was loose through his back and his halt was fully installed off my seat which is my barometer for his readiness to get to the real work.
I started using the three straight poles to form a big serpentine down the entire arena focusing on straightness before and after each pole and proper bend in my turns. At first he was pretty game and listening but after a couple trips through it must have dawned on him that this was a real working ride and he started getting pissy about it.
A quick come to Jesus talk had him back to mostly behaving in short order. I’m tired of his BS so when he tried to get out of work by cantering instead of trotting nicely over the poles I decided to shut him down immediately to a halt and I was not being polite about it. If he wants to be a bully I will to. And you know what? After only three times he stopped pulling that crap and got to work.
After he performed the serpentine I began work on using the near two straight poles to create a circle and then head to the far two straight poles to circle down there. That then turned into a large figure 8.
The two diagonal poles I was a bit unsure how to work with. I think I need to make them at a steeper angle and maybe it will work out better but they seemed to be a bit crammed to use off a straight pole and at a funky angle to use off one another. I need to play around with those a bit more.
After he was fully settled and had stopped trying to convince me it was impossible for him to hold his own head up, I let him canter. He had been dying to canter the entire ride so obviously when I cued for it he had no desire whatsoever.
I made him anyway and we had a pretty nice canter both directions including some pole work before I let him be done. I need to start timing my rides because I could ride him for hours and not realize it. I think it ended up being just over an hour of saddle time.
I’m hoping to get on him and work on this again tonight. If the arena is a bit more firm I’d like to turn at least two into a vertical. I’m not quite ready to do all 5 as jumps yet. Debating between the two diagonal or the near and far straight poles. Thunderstorms are back Friday through Sunday which is a shame. I took Friday off work as my yearly birthday present to myself. The boy goes to school and the husband goes to work and I give myself one day out of 365 to have nobody needing me for anything and the ability to do whatever I want whenever I want to do it. It’s the best day of the year and it’s going to storm all day. I guess I’ll just divert to making a me shaped lump in my couch instead. Or I’ll take a trip to Farm House Tack and get him a few items I’ve been eyeing. Ooooh! Or a little farther up to TIEC and final get that pad at Dover I’ve been eyeing. Hmmm…..a rainy day may get expensive.