The rIdes of March
March 20, 2017 Leave a comment
Used to be that March was one of my least favorite months to ride. When you’re riding a flighty Thoroughbred, Spring rides can be hair-raising, heck, just walking in from the paddock can be an adventure. Raise your hand if you’ve ever found yourself flying a 1000 lb kite. I know some of you know what I’m talking about.
Derby’s superpower was levitating while putting no pressure on the lead rope, which, if you think about it, means I’d be walking along, ignorant of the fact that my horse was floating along somewhere over my head. Needless to say, with that one, I snapped to pretty quickly and conformed to Pony Club approved methods of handling my horse.
Fred is much, much easier. He’s earthbound and fairly unflappable, which makes him a delightful change of pace during changeable March weather. Not too much concerns him.
We’ll be riding outside soon and I can’t wait. Part of the fitting up of Fred includes a lot of walking. Purposeful, marching walking to be sure, which lots of lateral work plugged into it, but walking nonetheless. That will be more fun for both of us when we can play in the sandbox outside, and start to explore the trails.
In the meantime, we’re getting there. Fred had such a case of the friskies last week that he was cantering off when I put my leg on, looking for a bigger stride at the trot. At this stage, forward is good. I let him go each time. I’ll worry about packaging the power later.
Tonight, he was tight and pissy, so I got off his back and out of his way, hopping up into a half seat, and just let him roll at the canter. He is insisting upon stretching as we walk – really stretching down to the end of the reins, all the way through, and I need to remember to incorporate these stretch breaks throughout the ride, in addition to (or in combination with) the walk breaks. After working the stretch in the trot, I had a much happier horse, and little wonder. I’ll need to ride him low, comfortable carriage until he works up the strength to carry himself. Which will hopefully be soon. Fred’s a fun horse to ride, even on a crappy day.