I had to work yesterday, so the ponies just got a full day of turnout, which they desperately needed. The weather this weekend has been amazingly warm, so everyone has gone blanket-less all weekend. I think that the horses must have rolled 6 times a piece out in the snow...they were so itchy!
This morning, the hubby and I sat on the couch and had coffee and donuts for breakfast (my favorite!) and then I let the horses out again until about 1:00pm or so.
I did get everyone worked today, which was great! I started with Gus, first on the lunge line and then under saddle. It was my first time back in the saddle since my unexpected departure from Cool's back a week and a half ago. I was so happy that my knee didn't bother me at all, even though the bruising on my shin and knee joint is still pretty impressive. Gus was so great! He even offered to stretch down with me!
After that, I took Emmy for a hack in the snow, mainly just walk/trot out on the trails. I didn't do a ton with her because a) shes old, and b) trotting through hock deep snow is enough of a workout. I stayed on her until she walked herself back to the barn and stood at the door as if to say ok, that's enough of that.
Cool was next, and I have to admit that I was apprehensive to get back in the saddle on him. He's just been so unpredictable lately, a trait that is so NOT him. I've decided to go back to basics with him for a while, working on the lunge line with side reins, which is exactly what I did today. I tacked him up fully and then added side reins. I never start off lunging with the side reins on, I think its important for the horse to stretch out before being asked to collect and work. Cool didn't want to go forward at first, but eventually he did comply. He has a nasty habit of cutting into the middle of the lunging circle, although today the snow was so deep that he was very content to stay on the path that Gus had made for him. This really worked out to my advantage, because I didn't have to fumble with making him stay out like I normally do. After he was warmed up I added the side reins and immediately he got bug-eyed and tried to avoid them by putting his head sky high in the air. It took a couple of laps for him to finally give in. We worked on voice commands while getting him to relax down into the bridle. He was really good! I got him to do upward and downward transitions just with voice commands, and then ended with a canter-to-trot transition and then straight to a "woah," I was so happy when he tucked his butt and went right to a halt. I'm going to keep working him like that for a while, it will especially help since I want to do the equitation classes with him this year. I'm hoping that going back to the basics will help get his brain back.
So, in closing, I had a really good Sunday :) Now it's time to feed the ponies dinner and make some scrumptious spaghetti for the hubby and I.
'Til next time,
(below are some pictures for your viewing enjoyment)
Emmy after our ride today (above)
Emmy and Gus playing Wednesday in the snow (photos below)
Riding Gussie today (below)
Our barn cat Oliver likes to horseback ride too! (below)