I've decided I need to incorporate at least one day a week of straight conditioning work into Robert's schedule this winter. The outdoor is frozen and we can't go out on trails so this has to be done in the indoor.
It is excruciatingly boring.
I set the kick off point for our first conditioning ride at a 5 minute trot, a 1 minute walk, a 2 minute canter, and a 2 minute walk before repeating. We did four sets Monday. I'm ashamed to say that five straight minutes of posting trot in jumping length stirrups was really fucking hard. I actually looked forward to getting into two point. Sweet Baby Jesus, I am such a fucking weakling.
My beast horse, on the other hand, was a raving monster pants and was more than happy to go bounding off into a faster gait, though much less happy to come back to the walk. He really isn't that fit though. His hind end still needs a lot of strength, and his topline isn't anything to look at. But having a base level of fitness will make me feel better pushing him forward.
Bobby was high as a kite which was only to be expected. But I had his rodeo outfit on this time so the massive amounts of metal attached to his face kept him in check. He was actually light as a bird hacking around, and I can see why people are tempted to cheat and put a giant bit in their horse's mouth to get fast results. I only had to pick up my reins to get him trucking along in a big, bold frame. But we're a snaffle dressage pair, so cheating only works when I need the braking power in a western saddle.
I finally started working him on the barrel pattern and he was super the first few times. He's so adorbs when he gets to the final barrel because he wants so badly to hug it when turning, but his mile long body has a hard time staying with his front half. So he literally sits down to whip his front half around before shoving off with his back half--a lovely technique for a compact quarter horse, but his bumbling butt and long legs move in slow motion and it makes me giggle so hard.
He started getting frazzled after awhile though and his flying changes between the first two barrels became flying sideways leaps through the air that made BO sigh over Bobby's unique ability to blow things out of proportion. I think he was just getting tired behind and it made him throw a tantrum...or twelve. But we finished on a good note, and we managed not to get N bucked off of Blackberry despite both boys' valiant attempts at injecting a little "excitement" into our ride.