Since my province went into stage 3 of reopening at the end of last month, I made sure to make a massage appointment this week during my vacation. I haven't had a massage since around Christmas, and oh boy, did it ever show. She said she could have easily spent 90 minutes on my legs alone. There were a whole bunch of areas that normally aren't a problem but this time they were super tight and sore. She also spent some time on my left thigh and the adductors that have been sore for the last few weeks. Which meant they were pretty pissed off on Tuesday when I went to ride.
My plan for that ride was to work on Cisco coming forward at a canter when I was in 2 point off my legs and not my seat. I had set up a few single poles to ride over. We were going to follow the mantra that I picked up at a clinic years ago of turn, straight, forward, balance into the pole.
It didn't quite go that way.
Cisco was in the arena by himself, which always means he's a bit more up. My leg was more sore than usual once I was in the saddle so I planned to keep the ride short. I skimped a bit on the warm-up to try to get to the meaty bits of the ride sooner (going over the poles). I should have spent a bit more time riding him down at a trot first.
He wasn't bad, he was just a little sassy. I wanted forward, and he gave it to me. Unfortunately, he didn't come back very well.
Instead of going towards the poles with turn, straight, forward, balance, it was turn, straight, get wiggly, slow the f down. Only at a trot - we didn't make it to trying it at a canter.
Our canter - well, he went forward off my leg at a 2 point, going up the long side towards the scary end. He typically backs off heading this direction, so I was happy that he easily went forward. And he hand-galloped forward instead up upward (he often gets high headed and bouncy when he gallops). Again, good. Unfortunately, we didn't really get much of a transition to settle back into a canter, and I kept losing my foot position in my outside stirrup and couldn't get it back on my foot properly and we were heading into the scary corner where he's likely to suddenly drop his shoulder and dive to the inside without warning and I didn't want to die because my position wasn't overly secure.
Yeah, I gave up on that.
I then tried to just get a decent canter before hopefully attempting the poles. We had prompt transitions, so good. The transitions had a bit of rocket power behind them and then never really slowed down. Bad.
And then he started coughing at the canter. When Cisco coughs, his head just drops and he lets out a huge cough and it feels like he's going to fall on his face. Not fun when you're in 2 point.
Yeah, I gave up on that too. The whole ride.
In reality, I probably shouldn't have ridden. My leg was really sore the next day. I probably should have given it a couple of days off after the massage, and I think I'm going to give it the next week and half or so off of riding. Next week I have three days where I won't be able to ride because of work, and this weekend there's a clinic at the barn and I can't use the arena until the evenings, so it's a good time to take a bit of a break. I also have a physiotherapy appointment booked for Thursday and figure I'll be pretty sore the next day so that means riding Thursday and Friday are out.
The ponies will be getting ground work though! I've been starting on the piaffe training from the TRT Method, so I'll see how far we can get in the next 10 days or so!