Variety Is The Spice Of Life

We have to hack alllll the way to the farthest tree line...
I've been trying to mix it up for Dino over the past week, given his current disdain for any and all activities taking place within the confines of an arena. We hacked to our neighbor's ring one afternoon, and Dino was less than thrilled with the prospect of more circles.

This surprises exactly no one.

He did not, however, throw any major tantrums. I think there may have been one small buck thrown in, but that was the extent of his sass. Dino was mostly obedient, but clearly not super-enthused to be working in the ring. He did everything I asked, but not well, and I never really got him working up over his back and in a forward frame of mind. 

However, after a brisk trot & canter on the way home, Dino seemed to be in a more cooperative frame of mind, so I headed over to the top of the hill at home to do a little more flatwork. 

And he was great! There were canter lengthenings! He was forward and round and listening! There was no snottiness! Dino wants what he wants, and he wants wide open spaces, apparently. 

I did the dressage. You provide treats, now. 
On our next ride, I wanted to check out how the footing was down by the pond in our favorite spot. It was, unfortunately, still totally shoe-suckingly swampy. So we did some work at the bottom of the pasture, where it was only somewhat less wet, but also kept us out of the 20mph winds at the top of the hill. Dino was happy to be working in a different spot, and the trot work was pretty good, but the footing was not great for much canter work. Eventually we moved back to the top of the hill where the footing was better and braved the winds. Dino was not thrilled with the gusts, but put in an honest effort. We ended the ride with some really fantastic free walk and stretchy trot, which were the highlights of the day. 

After two days of flatwork, it was time for another gallop day! 

Dino was not terribly excited about trotting the first half of the loop, but when I asked him to canter the second half, he lit up. 

"OH, YES, GALLOP TIME!"

As soon as he realized that this was his time to shine - and go really fast - Dino turned on the afterburners. It was SO awesome to feel him so enthusiastic - all I had to do was soften my elbows and he kicked it up another gear. I cannot WAIT to get him out on a cross country course this spring! Our second gallop going the other direction was even more blazingly fast, and I had quite the little orange handful to keep under control as he pranced the rest of the way home after I pulled him up.

We ended the work week with some easy walk and trot work since the footing was not the greatest, and then on Saturday Michael came out to take video of our schooling session. But you'll have to wait for that!

GALLOPS = YES

Comments

  1. Sounds like a great weekend!

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  2. Yay for gallops! I understand how Dino feels. I get tired of rings and flat work too. Haha.

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  3. Variety is really good for the horse and us owners too. Yay for gallops.

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  4. so fun!!!! also - somewhat apropos nothing, in that first pic, i did a slight double take bc the fan blade above Dino's head made it look like he had is hair done up a la Pebbles from the Flintstones lol

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  5. I can't wait until the ground is dry enough up here. I'm getting so jealous of even your walk hacks!

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  6. I envy how you mix up the locations of where you work!

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