It was sunny but there was a cold wind blowing today when I got to the barn. In the sunshine it felt nice, but the wind cut right through you. Nevertheless, I decided to toss on the quarter sheet and ride outside in the fresh, if chilly, air.
I wanted to take it easy, and just work on flexion and bending. We did a good bit of walk work to start, working especially to the left, which is and always has been her stiffer side. Bend, counterbend, bend, counterbend. A bit of shoulder in, shoulder out, and a few steps of leg yield each way until she was moving the way I asked, in a reasonably non-giraffe-like fashion. The trot to the right was pretty decent right away, but we were back to being stiff stiff stiff to the left. The massage scheduled for the end of March will hopefully help with that, but until then, bend, counterbend.
When she seemed to be relaxing and responding to my requests for flexion to each direction, I tried incorporating a few of the groundpoles that were laying around the ring (in roughly a wheel of death type exercise) into our work, figuring that a circle over poles should be no different than a circle. Except it is, so we went back to the drawing board on remembering we can carry ourselves while also picking up our feet. She nearly fell over one of the groundpoles, because it was soooooo hard! But with a bit of persistence, we got a few nice passes over the poles, and then a few really lovely circles, both right and left. Wonderfully forward, correctly bent, carrying herself. On that note, I called it an afternoon and we headed down the driveway and back up the far side to cool out.
Fingers crossed that the coggins pulled Friday gets back to me by Wednesday, so we make the entry deadline for the Cross Derby at MDHT. If not, I may investigate other options for that weekend, because we’re really due for another trip out and about, and I think she’s about ready for one.