I was finally able to ride this past Sunday after it being so darn cold for so long that doing anything was impossible! It was just above freezing, so still not "warm", but better than below zero!!
My mare was awesome for not having worked in months. The driveway is plowed well enough to ride and there was a spot on the edge where the grass was showing so I was able to trot for about 6-7 strides! LOL! Funny how that makes me excited in the dead of winter.....trotting 6 strides! YAY! So I did a lot of walk/halt transitions to get her sensitive to my leg. Boy, she was like "HUH? Leg? But I am on vacation MOM!" It took a few minutes, but I got her right there between my leg and hand. Stopping and walking with a perfect connection to the bit. No head tossing and using her hind end! Yay! And the best part is she did it without having a hissy fit! I am hoping that is something of her past......crossing fingers.
Then I did a little bit of walk-trot-walk. Again, I rode quietly and was firm with my rein/leg and she just accepted the contact and was smooth and comfortable! I did some sitting trot and then posting the next time around, etc. Now I can finally sit to her trot when she is connected to the bit! :D It is so nice! I used to think her sitting trot was so horrible, but really is was just because we were all unconnected and messy...well not THAT bad, but certainly not like we are now (Thanks Judy the fabulous instructor!!!!). Now, granted she does NOT have the smooth trot that my Morgan does, but it is really not as bad as I used to think.
My trot goals for this spring are going to be to continue to improve our sitting trot and develop a stretchy trot circle. We played around with stretching for a few strides at the trot here and there last summer, but never for a full 20 m. circle. And that is one of the movements in Training 4. So I gotta get on that. :) Plus after all the work I did to get her to stretch and come back in the walk last year, I now need to do it in the trot. Baby steps!
Then I took her out in the field. I did not realize the snow was up to her BELLY! Holy cow! So I asked for a trot and it was SO HUGE I thought I was going to pop off. I literally had to ask her to halt/walk with my voice because she popped me almost on her neck! LOL!!!! Good thing she stopped dead in her tracks. I was laughing out loud and Dreamy was like "What's the matter?" She is so good. :) I knew if I fell off, it might be a bit cold, but it certainly would not have hurt.
So I figured what the hell and let her canter once in each direction. It was so fluffy and easy to get through. Her canter was FANTASTIC because she had to rock back on her hind end to propel herself through it. LOL! :) :) :) It was like "Cool! Is this my horse???" She was blowing so I only went around each way once...two roughly 40 m. canter circles. I figured that was plenty for my out of shape mare! I went back out to the driveway and walked her around for a while. She was not sweaty and her breathing came right back within a minute. It was so fun! I think if we broke up the snow a bit more we could ride out there just fine. But it was just above freezing, so I did not want her to use her lungs like that. My vet tells me that she can probably handle more than I think......as long as I am very careful and avoid extremely frosty mornings or frigid days that may affect Dreamy’s breathing. Of course, I am a worrywart, so I always play it safe with her anyway.
I got her a new girth (see previous post) which I used and it fit so much better than the other one. I still cannot believe she uses an 18". My billets are so freaking long! And she liked her "new" bit just fine. LOL! I knew she would not notice a difference.....seeing as it is the same exact bit. But now I am happy to not have to change bits a couple of times a week....and at each event!
Ah, I am glad I got on. :) Only 23 more days and we will be in March! I am so excited! Bring on the heat and the bugs! :D