Sunday, February 23, 2014

Riding Outside

We had two wonderful, glorious days of (mostly) sun and (some) warmth! It was so wonderful to ride outside especially knowing it is going back down to the 20's and 30's for the next 10 days at least. Please winter go away!

My first day back from being sick I decided, quite wisely, it turned out to lunge Loki before riding. I was still not feeling 100% and the wind was kicking and he hadn't been out for 24 hours due to the storms the day/night before. Normally Loki is pretty respectful on the lunge line and he wasn't horrible but he pretty much raced around as fast as he could for a few minutes in each direction. He slipped twice which made me cringe but since I'm standing there doing nothing to encourage this behavior other than to say "easy" a thousand times I figure if he's sore it's definitely his own fault.

But after that we had a really nice ride. The trot/canter transitions are starting to make a difference. I feel like we are starting to have more than one speed when we canter and he is so so close to really using his hind end and coming all the way through. My trainer commented that he frustrates her to no end b/c the way he is built it should be so easy for him but still he resists. I look at it as we're making progress and I can't/don't want to force him that last little bit. I'll take what he is giving me and continue to praise him and wait for his strength to build whether that be mentally or physically or both I'm not sure. Hopefully we'll get there someday.

Unfortunately we weren't able to jump even though we were able to ride outside in just a sweatshirt. The ground was just not quite thawed enough, squishy on top but still packed underneath does not make ideal jumping conditions for sure. But it was still nice to ride outside and we even went around the trails for the first time in a couple of weeks. Spring is oh so close but just not quite within our reach so hopefully I can have the same patience for spring to get here as I'm trying to have for my horse.

Sadly, no riding photos to show but here is a series from yesterday morning when I found him napping in his stall:
Oh it's you Mom
Go away I'm sleeping
Did you bring me any treats?
Okay I guess I'll get up.


  1. I love sleepy horses! Unfortunately, I rarely see Shy laying. Loki is too cute laying down :)

  2. Glad you got to ride outside! I wish I had moved Titan last week, it was hard watching people ride outside today knowing it would be too cold for a while. Come on spring!!

  3. Great to hear that you're feeling a bit better and were able to get some spins in on Loki. He is so cute in the photos, I often catch Nancy napping when i get there to turn them out at lunchtime...I have caught Kika before, but it is considerably rarer

  4. Wasn't the weekend wonderful?! So nice to have days above freezing with some sun :-)

  5. Aww he looks so cute all curled up!

    Sounds like great rides in the nicer weather!

  6. omg so cute of him laying down!!

  7. Cutest little face ever!!! And I definitely recommend the neck-strap exercise. What my trainer had me do was put one finger of my outside hand in the neck strap, and we just trotted/cantered in a circle until he was settled. The inside rein was free to make little corrections, but putting your finger in the neck strap held your outside rein steady. Then we'd approach the jump and basically I'd just grab onto the strap over the jump- amazingly, he slowed BETTER just by pulling on the strap some after the fence, instead of using the bit. And he started to learn that he could jump exuberantly and I wasn't going to catch him. Eventually I started to practice without the strap (I'd do one with, one without just to be safe) and I found the exercise helped me keep my hands low and steady and giving, and he was much more relaxed when I kept my hands low an wide approaching the jump.

    Anyway, probably tmi but I just wanted to let you know what my trainer had me do in case you wanted to give it thought, I know you're working with your own trainer though :) I definitely felt it was a great exercise for us and plan to continue doing it. If nothing else, it's VERY eye-opening to show us just how much we rely on our hands... and just how much we really don't need them!!!