I wrapped up a rather stiff and mediocre ride on Friday with me completely dropping the reins in disgust as Dopie head wagged his way around the arena, paddling his front legs high up through the air like Michael Phelps in what Farrier lovingly refers to as his Demented Morgan gait. Which is quite frankly insulting to Morgans everywhere.
Fortunately for all parties, I was super busy on Saturday and the only productive horse thing I accomplished all weekend was scrubbing my tack clean while Opie got a massage. His massage lady complimented him for being in pretty fucking good shape. A little sore in the hind end, but nothing out of the ordinary for a dressage horse. His was tight in his neck--his weapon of choice--and had one reactive spot on the right side of his back which was why I had her out in the first place.
|we're currently fluctuating between naked weather and 30*.|
in the same week. worst state ever.
When I swung back aboard Monday morning, I had a much looser and steadier horse. Like, I could ask for right bend again. Winning!
Right from the get-go we both felt locked in. I think I should clean my tack more often because that extra smidge of stickiness that comes from leftover saddle soap always makes me feel glued in a little tighter. Plus, you know, I should just clean my tack more often. Aside from that though, I had a horse that felt spicy, but was completely willing to take a half halt and focus. We ran through our warm up without incident beyond nearly getting wiped out by fighting birds, and I moved on to the sitting trot without having to spend extra time at the walk like I sometimes do to get Dopes to take a breath instead of anticipate.
|those ears. so donkey.|
Sadly I can tell my workouts are doing what they're supposed to and firming up the flab. Or at least making it more susceptible to being told what to do. (Sadly because that means I have to keep doing them.) There's needs to be a manual for fat, lazy dressage riders. "Don't want to stop eating Cadbury eggs or extend your workout past twenty minutes? That's okay! Here's how to activate your lower fat roll instead of the upper."
Ugh, I would buy that.
|has no time for my shit.|
The sitting trot is reaching levels of adequacy for both of us finally. Dopie is relaxing and staying loose in his back, no doubt in relation to me jouncing around less as I remember where certain muscles exist and how to bring them into play. From there, with that better connection and engagement, I'm getting much better canter transitions. Of course now they're only coming from the sitting trot, but probably they'll be there for a First test depart by May 4th, too. Hopefully at least.
Dressage is boring to write about though, especially when it goes well, so on to this morning's fun!
|finally got him all his harness bits and pieces. he was less interested in fitting them|
than in wondering why i was being so stingy with the candies.
I've been collecting harness and cart parts all winter, and I finally got everything I need. I think. The cart needs to come home to get a face lift and some adjustments to the fittings since it was too big for Opie when we got it, but that has to wait until my truck gets back from being torn into a million parts at the garage. The new girth was the last thing to arrive yesterday, and I was super excited to take advantage of clear skies and driveway (even if it was only 30*) to pull the cart out and play with everything.
I let Opie snoot the cart quickly before putting his outfit on and ground driving him to start. As soon as I stepped away from him with the whip he kicked out and gave me ANGRY SIDE EYE SO MAD because he did not enjoy his in-hand work this winter. Once he realized what game we were actually playing--the one where he strolls around and gets candy for seemingly no reason--he was like, "Oh, okay! Off we go!"
|heading into the brush because i can't steer with one hand.|
We did a few figure eights around the indoor before heading out and looping the parking lot a couple times. He was so chill I figured I'd go ahead and hitch him. If he felt squirrely we'd work on standing and be done. If he continued being good I'd lead him around once.
Of course he was a gem apart from wanting to turn around to beg for cookies (bad horse!), so I clipped the lead rope to his bit and did a lap. I was so proud to see him pushing against the shafts all on his own instead of just cranking his neck around while his body kept going straight that I stopped him to switch out the lead rope for the lines and ground drove him from behind the cart. Same excellent steering so I jumped in for the final lap and he cruised around making the snug turn back into the parking lot like a complete pro.
|parked, but ears cocked back to listen for cookie wrappers|
I let him be done there since it was more than I'd intended to do with him starting out. He felt like he'd never missed a day though. In fact, it appeared someone taught him a little something about steering while the cart sat under a tarp all winter. Whatever, I'll take those driving elves all day.
I can't wait to get the cart home for its makeover, mostly so that all the fucking straps and buckles fit and lay how they're supposed to. I don't know what kind of sixty foot monster they had hooked to this thing, but things are in the weirdest positions and my improvising isn't necessarily the safest method. See floppy, crooked breeching above. But it works for a few laps around the driveway which is all we're going to get until winter decides to leave for real anyway.