Sunday, March 16, 2014

Four More Days Until Spring

At least, by the calendar.

Couple of nice rides. Longeing on Friday, then trot sets Saturday night. Focus on rhythm, straightness, and stretching over the topline, building fitness and muscle both. We did two 8 minute trot sets and a few canter sets that went trot-canter-trot over 5 minutes. We also did about 6 minutes of a trot that included a trip down a line of poles on the center line with each pass: poles, turn right, poles, turn left, and so on. He was all-over tired and relaxed when we were done, and recovered quickly and well.

Today, a hack out, about 30 minutes, up and down dirt roads and up and down the big hill, bareback, with fleece quarter sheet. It was bitterly cold when the wind was up, but sunny with melted snow runoff glistening on the dirt roads. Actual temperature around 12 degrees but it never felt like that: always warmer or colder.

I was extremely pleased with how happy he was to be out, firm and swinging and forward even heading away from the barn, and how straight he held himself through his body. We went straight up the hill, no meandering, just push and swing from the hind end, and the same back down. He was tired and moving slowly at the end of it. His balance was far better going downhill, as he held himself inside his body: no stutter steps, no swerving through the shoulder.

This week will be difficult with evening work commitments, but we'll see what we can salvage for a schedule.

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