So far I've put in two ball busting rides, but before I was able to get off and call each a success, I had to convince my horse he was not, in fact, going to be eaten alive by the sand beneath his toes.
|if i could have stapled this to his forehead, i would have.|
Six truck loads of treated sand footing were spread in the indoor over the weekend. BM didn't get back from the week of horse showing until the early hours of Monday morning, so when I went to ride, the ring had been rolled flat, but not dragged by the tractor yet. This left the sand compacted and smooth, and, according to my usually...if not fearless then at least blasé horse, DEATH TO ALL HORSE KIND.
He was in full snort mode and, since I delight in the ridiculousness that is my horse when he's alarmed by something, he was flinging his body around like a fighting giraffe on crack while I let him walk around on the buckle.
|in case you needed a visual of that.|
The sound of swishing sand whenever he took a step was offensive. The loudness of his hooves hitting the sand was offensive. The feeling of his hooves cutting in with each step was offensive. When I finally gathered him up and asked him to trot, I quite literally lost my shit in a full on tear inducing giggle fit. Bobby brought his knees up to his chin with each step, channeling his inner Saddlebred to try to reduce the amount of time his feet were touching the ground. It was an impressive display of stupid I hope I never let him live down.
He did finally acclimate himself though, and I got to work moving his haunches around as per Trainer's orders. That was surprisingly easy to accomplish, and it really payed off once I had him pick up the left lead canter. His stride felt looser, and it felt like his hind end was finally reaching forward with his front end.
To the right? I haven't been able to access that yet. He decided he was done participating after the left canter, so after a too long period of trying to get him to trot like a normal horse again, I finally gave up and settled on a really good walk instead.
We finished with a cool out on the trails, and then some work on the rein back in hand. I tap his legs with my dressage whip when I ask him to back to try to get him to understand that legs are for lifting, and not just when one is afraid of sand.
|and because i have no new media, here is my horse from this weekend after|
two whole seconds of warm up. #postingmakesmegofetal
The arena still hadn't been dragged yet when I went out to ride yesterday morning, but a couple other horses had ridden in it which had done nothing but make the entire outside track a churned up, foot deep mess. BM did drag it when I was done riding, so I'm hopeful that evens it out some. I'm really nervous about this new stuff. It added a solid foot of base, but the sand looks soft tissue sucking deep when it's been ridden over like that.
Since my horse is really not that far removed from a soft tissue injury himself, I stuck to the mostly untouched inside, and even that made me a little twitchy. I don't know what I'm going to do if some of that shit doesn't settle and firm up.
|sometimes he's totes adorbs.|
For whatever reason, Bobby started off in a mood. Nothing I asked him to do was okay. So that I didn't have to focus on falling into the bordering ditch of leg injuries, I ended up taking him out to the driveway and doing laps out there until he could walk like a gentleman. By the time we went back into the ring, he was in a much better frame of mind.
Aside from loosening up and strengthening the booty, my main focus has been bringing Bobby's front end up into a more advanced "frame" for lack of a better word. The poll has been coming up with less and less urging, but I've been worried about how much his neck has look constricted when I pass the mirror. A higher poll counts for nothing if he's giving it to me by cheating and bulging that ugly under neck muscle out.
After his outside brain let down time though, Bobby was ready to work and was freely moving forward. I shortened my reins a notch and really thought about pushing his butt up under my own.
I felt it, and then I passed by the mirror and saw it. That was exactly what I've been working for. It lasted one whole long side to the right no less before I had him halt and told him was the very best pony britches to ever dressage.
We finished with a rein back where I took Trainer's advice to "talk to him" with my reins a little bit instead of holding the contact, and then using my spurs to lift him up and back when I asked for the steps.
Nailed that shit, too.
|he always acknowledges me leaving, even if he's pooping when he does it.|
thanks, bobby. love you, too.
Unfortunately for poor Bobby, aside from the loads of cookies he got, I also gave him a bath and then took all his hair away. You win some, you lose some.