Sunday, November 05, 2006

We did it because he wanted to

My trainer yelled at me yesterday.

Well, not really. She's at a trainers conference this weekend and I left her a viocemail about my ride on Kaswyn Thursday. She sent me a text message saying that she was concerned that I did too much work with him considering the number of days off he had recently and his level of fitness. She did not sound pleased.

I know she's right. It's very true that Kaswyn is not in as good of shape as he has been in the past, since he's coming back from surgery and neuroma problems. But honestly, it's not like I schooled him for an hour and drilled each movment. We just ran through each movement once or twice. It took maybe 15 mintues, tops. He wasn't even sweaty or breathing hard when we were done.

If I had thought he was getting tired, or was hurting, I would have stopped immediately. Since his problems started over a year ago there were many times that I started riding but stopped because he just didn't feel right. But he felt better than "right" - he felt excited and more than willing to do anything I asked. With every new movement he was more and more excited. I think he would have done more but I thought it was best that we stopped.

Here's the thing - I haven't been able to do anything "fun" with my horse for almost a year now. It's been a whole lot of hand walking, or riding at the walk, and big circles and straight lines at the trot and canter. While it's all necessary, it's BOR-RING. I know Kaswyn feels the same. The reason I started doing dressage with him in the first place was because he was getting bored going around and around in circles. He loves to learn and show off and make me happy. He wanted to do those things. Those of you who know or have horses that are related to Kaswyn know what I'm talking about. Horses of his line are highly intelligent horses with great work ethics who aim to please.

So we did some fun stuff. And it felt GOOD. Great, even. Maybe not the smartest thing we've done, but he's not any worse for it. On Friday we just walked and I did a 15 mintue "warm-up" ride with him on Saturday - which means back to straight lines and circles and concentrating on frame, balance, cadence, and evenness. Nothing fancy - not even a leg yield. However, he felt awesome. Soft, plenty of energy, ready to work. The best part, though, is that he was not sore and was very even.

Kaswyn and I have a tenative 30 minute mini lesson on Tuesday to evaluate him and make a plan for his training schedule. Hopefully that will get me out of the dog house with my trainer.

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