My muscles have gotten really tight since I started riding harder this spring. I used to be ridiculously loose--like, toss my foot behind my head without thinking twice. Now, I'm sore, tight, and stiff and it's probably affecting my riding, too. So today was stretching day for both me and the horses. I did about half an hour of yoga and pilates with some jumping jacks thrown in. I feel soo much better and looser. My back and neck cracked about a hundred times, and I feel like I can move my shoulders now. I definitely need to make a point to stretch either before or after riding every day.
And if I felt this tight, I can't imagine how Red feels--or even rarely-ridden green but getting stronger Bobby--so they both got a "break" today. I took both of them out to the round pen with me and let Bobby graze while I lunged Red. As always, he didn't want anything to do with cantering, but I forced two circles out of him. The pen was a little churned up so I didn't want to press the issue too much. I stretched out all of his legs and did carrot stretches with him. I think you can tell the class of barn your OTTB was in by how well they stretch. Red hands over his leg and stands without moving whiel you pull and push his legs around. Bobby and my last OTTB, Storm the Gate, have zero ideas what stretching is. Red was with Zito for quite awhile and started with the very classy Niall Brennan, finishing with Howie Tesher. He was obviously well taken care of and knows all about getting pampered.
Bobby got lunged w/t only each way since his canter is still uncoordianted on such a small circle and it was so slimy around the track. He was a good boy. He's actually really light on his feet and bouncy, and you can't hear him stomping along and hitting the ground hard like you can with some horses. He is also seriously looking more filled out. Hubby said the same thing Friday, but I definitely saw it for myself today. His coat is looking good and he's getting less ribby. It will be two weeks on Wednesday of him being on the SmartGain, one week on the alfalfa and Aloe Vera juice, and five days on the Safe Choice. I think we're finally figuring it out! Yay, pay off!!
He's really just not that attractive of a horse unfortunately. He still needs topline work and neck muscles. I'm going to start him long lining and lunging with side reins on tomorrow. I'm basically going to come at him like a just off the track Thoroughbred instead of a horse that was off for a year and used in a lesson program. That's kind of the way you have to approach Cobleskill horses. Don't trust that the school has done anything useful to them or for them.
I let both boys graze for a little while when they were done.