Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Muddy

Spring is finally here. It's still chilly at night but the days are heating up to the mid 50's and 60's. I've said here many times how much I hate winter and love summer, but spring and fall are the in between seasons where I hate them almost as much as I love them.

The good things about spring -
Finally getting warmer!
The arena can be watered because the hoses are all thawed.
No more icy pastures
I can breathe!
I'm much more motivated to ride if I don't have to bundle up like a mummy

The bad things about spring -
The mud!
The hair!
The darn digging varmints are back in the arena making holes!

Yesterday filled in five holes in the arena, and then I spent at least 30 minutes grooming each horse, scraping mud and hair off of them. They are SO dirty but it's too cold for me to bathe them and just let them dry without coolers, and I just don't have hours to wait and change out coolers until they are dry. I need a nice 70 degree day to bathe them. I know those kind of temperatures are coming, but they are not here yet. So I cleaned them as best I could and then was ready to ride.

I rode Albert first, and he's really coming along. We are still having issues with the canter. He's still a bit crooked to the right, and still likes to bear down on the bit instead of coming up in front and being light. I know it's time for a lesson and I'm sure my trainer will help fix this problem. But the good news is the trotwork is pretty decent.

Kaswyn felt pretty good. We warmed up at the trot and canter and then I went back to the trot and I didn't like what I felt. He doesn't seem to be steady at the trot. It's not a lameness thing, I think it has to do with connection from back to front. I don't really feel like I have his back working properly at the trot. Again, a lesson will fix this I hope.

The canter is much better than the trot for Kaswyn. He still tries to sneak his nose out and lose the connection, but I feel more organized at the canter and I can fix that easier.

Since he felt so good at the canter I decided to do some flying changes, just for fun. We did a line of three changes every four strides, then we did three changes every third stride. He nailed those, so I decided to ask him for some two's. He did five changes every second stride. So then I thought, well, lets try ones... and he did six changes every stride! It would have been seven but he missed the last one. But still! Wow. Such a good boy. That horse forgets nothing. And then of course he got himself all excited by doing the advanced movements, but he was getting tired too so I decided to stop with that.

During those changes I noticed that he used his back a lot more, and that I was getting a fantastic connection over his back after the changes. So I wonder if I can use the changes as a tool to get him over his back and connected, and then do some trot work. I know I'll have to make sure he's really warmed up before I try the changes, but I just have this feeling that it might help.

The next step is to schedule two short lessons with my trainer, as neither the horses or I are up for an hour lesson on each. I think it's time we made some real progress. And it's time to find out if all the work I've been doing on my own is on the right track, or totally off base!

Oh, one last thing. I'm still using the tack cleaner. I'll use it until Friday and then write my review.


Rising Rainbow said...

I hate the shedding process in the spring. Hair everywhere! YUCK!!!

achieve1dream said...

Great post! That's so exciting that he was doing his lead changes so well. :)

I'd like to add a few things to you list.

Good things:
Gorgeous, beautiful outside.
Stays light waaaaay later.
Being able to see the sun lol.
Spring cleaning fever.
Goats kids (and other animals) being born.

Bad things:
Allergies!!!!! Argh!!!!!
Scary spring storms.
Spring break meaning the neighbor's obnoxious teenagers won't be in school while I'm at work . . . sigh.

Great post! I might have to do a post of the good things and bad things about spring. :) That is if you don't mind.

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