Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Getting Started

And pose dramatically, obviously
It's been cold and frozen here, so Courage has really exciting things on his agenda most days. It reads something like "eat breakfast. go in my field. eat dead grass. drink water. come back in the stall. eat dinner. sleep."

Sometimes we go for handwalks or brush him. Always cookies.


That said, I'm trying to very slowly start easing him back into work as the weather allows since we don't have access to an indoor. We can't do a lot--even when the weather was "warm" the arena was still frozen enough that the little dude declared it "absolutely impossible to canter".

So much walking
That's ok. I have lots to work on. When it's really frozen, we just walk. We do walk/halt/walk transitions to educate him about forward. We practice baby leg yields so he can start to think about what leg pressure means. I try to think about basic riding errors I'm working to correct--weight in my heels, thumbs up and we play with contact just a little bit.

Seriously. How cute is he?
I'm running a fine line with him--between all the work we did last fall and the long layoff to let his muscles relax, he is finally starting to give up the giraffe method he was so fond of. Now he's running in the other direction that sensitive horses are prone to: curling! We're working towards a happy medium and eventually, I hope I can get him happy in the contact.

Look at that neck stretch!
We haven't done much trotting (see: arena conditions), but the little we have has been pretty focused. I want him forward PROMPTLY and moving out, covering ground. We haven't even trotted a circle yet this year, but I'm hopeful that the basics we are doing now will pay off once we finally get rolling.

It's still just early February and I can't hope for much regular riding time until the end of the month. That said, the little dude is pretty good about thinking over the lessons we cover and coming back better than before.

He is going to be a very cool little horse and there is no reason on earth to rush him. I'm looking forward to more consistent riding time, but taking advantage of what I have.

And yeah, soooooo ready for spring.


  1. I don't care what anyone says, I will forever love that clip with the star on his shoulder....so cute! And yeah, don't feel bad about your weather; we got 7 inches of snow here yesterday and are supposed to get a huge ice storm tonight with more snow. I feel like it'll never be spring :(

  2. Cute clip! I can't wait for longer days and warm weather either.

  3. I totally feel you on the weather/frozen ground/inability to ride. I also kind of hate everyone with access to an indoor. We just got dumped on with another foot of snow, but at least that means I can go do conditioning rides in it! Winter sucks. Come on spring.

  4. Way to keep working even when all you can do is walk. So many things can be done at just the walk and I'm sure it will show when you guys get a chance to step it up a bit. And I will now stop complaining about our itty bitty indoor because at least we have one. Sorry!

  5. You can get a LOT of work done just walking. Keep at it!

  6. I'm really ready for spring too... and I have indoors to ride in!

  7. He is so adorable! I love the dramatic pose (& purple rug!!! ♡) and he looks so cute all kittedout in his matchy-matchy bonnet & quarter sheet. You guys be stylin'!

    Hope weather warms up and that all this work on the basics pays off - it deff can't hurt especially as you have continuously said how smart C-rage is at retaining his lessons. You guys are gonna come out of "hibernation" ballin!

  8. There are sooo many things to work on at the walk, I honestly think it's the best thing for my horse when she has a slight lay up/injury/etc. and we're forced to walk for an extended period of time. It's amazing how much you can enforce there and to watch it all come together afterwards.

  9. walking can be good...boring but good. Let the countdown to spring begin.

  10. I admire your fortitude, getting out to ride. At least you can see the arena. Mine's buried under almost 10" of snow.

  11. I don't think I really know what frozen ground feels like. Comparable to an ice skating ring? Sounds very dangerous. Glad you guys are getting work in where/when you can!

  12. I say we all haul out to an indoor arena (birts?) one of these Sundays. Actually, I demand it!

  13. No joke -- although I am also planning a major state conference for work and trying to finish up the horses' run in at the new farm so they can move so I think the last time I sat on a horse at all was maybe 3 weeks ago? Both of them have lost their back muscle, but Encore still looks good and relaxed and even just on short longing sessions, no more Hackney pony trot!


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