Friday, March 09, 2012

Shaping Up

As much as there is a part of me that likes to think I should be capable of riding all year without any lulls, I do sometimes think when the forced breaks come along, they yield benefits. Brian and I rode on Wednesday, and because it was super windy out we rode indoors. Steen started out fine, but over the course of the ride he transitioned into being pretty excellent. We worked on all our usual stuff, and the ride just gradually and almost imperceptibly got better until after a while I realized things were going really well.

It was mostly little stuff. Steen would stop really well, or hold collection and give me some really energetic half-passes. Brian and I worked on the routine, and Steen was tuned in to how fast I was asking him to go to keep pace with Bear. At the end I worked on a figure-eight pattern and had Steen loping a short circle, then coming down to a trot and trotting the other half of the figure-eight, then picking up the lope again, and so on. This is far more demanding mentally than what I usually ask him to do at the lope (run in circles) and I was impressed to see how well he handled it. He even seemed to enjoy it.

But he did get hot and tired pretty quickly, so we didn't ride long. I'm just happy to be back in the swing of things. We've got the whole summer ahead of us now. :)

Ride Time: 0:40
Horseback hours YTD: 11:20

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