Thursday, January 28, 2010

How long can you go without riding?

I've been sick since Saturday. I did manage to sit on Armani on Sunday. It was only for 15 minutes. He was fresh and I was coughing and sneezing. Since then I've been too sick. It is now Wednesday.

It has been raining and icy all week, which rather reflects how I feel. I try to ride every day and not miss more than a day at a time. But this is the first time I've been sick in a while. Still I harbor massive amounts of guilt for missing time.

How long can you go without riding?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Training: 2 exercises for lengthening on a cob horse

Armani is a cobby, baroque built horse. He finds lengthening challenging. But lateral work comes naturally. So our instructor has given us these two exercises. They introduce lengthening through lateral work.

Exercise 1: Shoulder-in to Lengthening
1) Ridden at the Trot
2) K-E. Sitting Trot. Shoulder in down half of the arena.
3) E-M. Rising trot. Straighten horse. Then ask him to lengthen his stride.

Exercise 2: 8 meter circle to Lengthening
1) Ridden at Trot
2) H. Rising or sitting. 8 meter circle in the corner. Establish a lot of bend. Work on getting the inside hind swinging under his body.
3) H-F. Rising trot. Straighten horse. Then ask him to lengthen his stride.

You are back around to where you started. You can go back to Exercise 1 if you wish.

A new year, steady progress

A new year has dawned. Armani and I make slow, but steady progress. His training continued with our instructor while I took time off during my late Baby Cat's passing.

Armani is a very cobby, baroque horse. He can move his feet quickly and dance on a dime. So collected and lateral work come naturally. His canter is his best gait, followed by walk, though his trot is nice. But lengthening trot and bending are more of a challenge.

As he builds strength, he is becoming a peacock. More than one person has told me they spotted him passaging and leaping around the pasture - through the snow - ruffling his mane in the air - while he hoots at mares, naturally. Apparently he thinks he's Fabio. Silly little man.