The weather has cooperated beautifully and we have actually been able to get some halfway consistent ride time in. AND the late winter thaw and flooding has subsided and there is no more mud. No more mud means we can canter and jump!! It is hard to get into training and conditioning when all you can do is trot carefully in circles. After our lesson I have been more confident in working on our canter. And the decent footing has made it a possibility to do so.
Yesterday, Steady was very forward and a bit jumpy as he has been since we started back the past few weeks. There has been an unusual amount of spooking at everything that moves or could possibly have moved in the past. And so forward that holding him back made my hands hurt by the end of our ride. Though he was still very forward and spooky we still got in some good work. We cantered the most we have ever cantered to date. Probably about 5 minutes each direction. We added a few small jumps in here and there and by the end he had worked up his first good sweat of the year!!! I didn't work him to death but I did finally felt comfortable gettig him huffing and puffing. He wanted to work so I put him to work. We had lovely moments of round, flextion and great movement from him. And some control using my seat and legs, posting that didn't involve plopping my fat but on his back and not relying on my hands for balance from me. Far from perfect but moving in the right direction.
That brings us to today. I could tell from the get go that the super forward Steady my have had his butt kicked yesterday and was feeling it. He was lagging a bit. Ok we are talking OTTB lagging here so probably more forward than most. But without all of that energy kind of being thrown out the window with his goofyness. It was like he said "Ok I know exactly how to get out of this a quickly and painlessly as possible. Just do everything Mama asks and surely she wil take it easy on me" Lovely suppleness, roundness, flexion, bending in both directions. Very little sign of the stiffness he was struggling with only a week ago. So trot in both directions and got what I wanted, walk. Canter both directions got what I want, done. Hopped over four jumps and got the compliant, obedient horse that I wanted, done. It was a short ride but I feel soooo good about it and am proud of my boy. He puts his heart out there for me everytime and I love him for it. So his plan worked, give mama what she wants and you are back grazing in no time.
It feels so good to be back in the saddle again...oh don't get me started on the saddle thing...ugh. That will be coming soon. But like I was saying it feels so good to be back on the road to a fit horse that is in work and progressing....YAY!