I'm trying to get back to riding Albert and Kaswyn more since the contest has ended. For the past month I rode them a little bit but not my usual four times a week. So it's time to get back to it.
It's been really hot here lately. Yesterday I only rode both horses for twenty minutes each, and we did a lot of walking. One thing I got from my lesson with George Williams is that I'm not working on the walk enough. When I had been walking the boys I would just let them walk. I didn't really think about improving the step and making them march in the walk. Now when I put the horse together and ask him to get on the bit I really make sure he is marching and walking properly.
This has been a bit of a shock for both horses. They got very used to just ambling along at the walk, checking out the wall or the footing or whatever. Now I'm on their cases, bumping with my leg, and making them march, march, march!
Albert picked up on it really quickly, but Kaswyn still wants to be lazy. I keep having to remind him that he needs to have a quality walk when he's on the bit. I know it's new and he'll get used to it, but I'm sure he's thinking "Come on lady, you've been riding me for 16 years and now we've got to do the walk differently?"
After Kaswyn's ride I sponged his back off. We didn't work really hard so he only got some sweat marks under his saddle. I started thinking about what I was taught as a kid - if you leave sweat on your horse's back, the back will get sore. It was ok to let the sweat dry and then curry and brush it off, but if you left the dry sweat there it would give the horse a sore back.
So why would this be true? If the sweat was ok to dry on the back only to be brushed off later, why would dried sweat that wasn't brushed off make a horse's back sore? It kind of doesn't make sense. I could see if the horse was worked really hard they could get a sore back, and be sweaty at the same time, but I don't know how sweat alone could contribute to a sore back.
What do you all think? Were you taught this also?
The Harmany Muzzle
5 days ago