Sunday, 3 March 2013

Getting back into the swing

Yesterday Koda and I had our best ride yet.  On the agenda was getting down to some good work, carrying ourselves properly (myself included!) through basic transitions and staying soft.  For the most part, it was a very good ride, a great step in the right direction.  Koda was a lot better about being by himself, no calling at all until we were packing up to head back to the barn.  We went straight to business since it was clear that Koda had plenty of energy to get rid of as he was "spooking" at everything he could think of that was "spook worthy".  So to keep him occupied, we worked on transitions, working through the bridle, lateral work, trot work, and some canter work.

Koda's take on "the look of eagles" Mr. Wofford speaks off

One of my favourite exercises in the trot is the "almost walk" exercise.  All you do is develop a good working trot.  One in the working trot, slow it down using your seat and body to an almost walk.  At the slowest tempo of the 'almost walk' trot, push it on and forward, asking for a lengthening almost.  Don't hold either the slowest trot or most lengthened for more than a few strides at a time depending on your horse's fitness.  With Koda, since we're still getting back into it, I only held the almost walk strides for 1-2, the lengthening for 4-5.  I find this exercise really helps longer backed horses (aka Koda!) to step up under themselves and stretch through their back.  Koda rose to the occasion like a star, getting a few steps of truly "fancy" trot.  He has a lengthening in that long body of his.

We did some short canter work and it was very nice.  I was really surprised at how nice his canter actually was considering we're both still out of shape.  The SO stopped by right at the tail-end of the ride and caught some of the canter work.  At the end of our ride, Koda actually stretched down and out, and had some baby foam on his lips.  As funny as it is, that spelt success to me :)  Koda is a pretty stiff guy, and bringing him back from his 3 months off correctly is going to be crucial for him.  I just need to make sure I stay on my game and keep RIDING.

We have some dressage shows lined up for this spring, the first being a training show in May.  I'm not sure yet about whether we're going to do any tests with canter, or just stay in walk-trot for our first outing, but with the canter he showed me today, I'm tempted...

1 comment:

  1. I do the "slow trot" exercise too, and loooooooove it. Y'all look great!