January 14, 2012 2 Comments
I hopped on Derbs for our first ride since late December, and he felt great. I took it easy – he’s had more than two weeks off, which followed a really spotty riding schedule during the holidays. We worked for about 25 minutes, but had a good ride nonetheless.
As we warmed up walking, I tested whether or not Derby was still responding to my seat. As we worked some serpentines and shoulders-in, the contact got stronger and steadier, and we had nice walk cadence.
Moving into the trot I stayed on the rail, where the footing is more compacted. Derby’s heel bulb is still tender, and deep footing puts pressure on the sore spot. I wrapped the heel before riding, and he didn’t take a bad step – but still, I was careful.
I woke up my riding muscles with a couple laps in two-point, and then alternated standing two beats, and posting two beats. That exercise reinforces my balance and helps steady my lower leg. Because we weren’t doing anything off the rail, I simply did some half halts into a smaller gait, and then asked for more trot down the long sides. I wasn’t wearing spurs or carrying a whip, but Derby complied willingly.
As we finished up, I dropped my stirrups and worked on transitions to halt, half halting and holding my core as we halted to invite Derby to stay on the bit and round.
His back was up and the contact felt really good. We’ll do a bit more work tomorrow, and will have a lesson on Monday. Yay!