Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mixing it Up

I'm a big believer in variety.  I don't like drilling the same thing day after day and I don't think horses enjoy it either.  With Lucy, it is a bit more challenging than it was with Winston and Jackson who I could take out on trail rides.  Lucy still jumps out of her skin when my helmet brushes against the pine boughs hanging low on the property.

I try to work on something different every day and I let Lucy tell me what she is in the mood for.  If the weather is cool and she's got happy feet, we do interval training: laps of trot and canter to build her fitness.  Once a week, I focus on lateral work - leg yield, shoulder-fore and haunches-in.  On days that she is very focused, we work on half steps at trot and canter.  Today she was sluggish (I'm quite certain she is coming into heat) so we did some canter early on to wake her up and then lots and lots of transitions -- changing gaits at every other letter as we went around and mixing it up to keep her on her toes.

Last Sunday morning we were both tired and the humidity was making us lethargic so we did our warm up and then left the dressage court.  We wandered through the trees on both sides of the court, through the dry stream bed, past the scary pile of pine boughs and under the low branches that made her jump.

We walked past the oak pasture, over the bridge, alongside the chicken run and down the driveway.  She was good as gold, even when we rode back up along the side of the house by the wood shed.  She did not like the wood shed.  Evil.  Definitely evil.  She didn't want to, but she walked behind it for me and stood quivering on the other side.  I told her she was a very brave mare as we turned and walked back to the barn.