Friday, 4 February 2022

I'm A Sucker

The nice thing about my Andalusian /paint cross gelding is that he is inherently quite lazy. He's no TB that has an endless supply of energy and is fit after a week of riding. No sir. He's of the 15 minutes of work generally brings the fresh horse level down from a 7 to a 2. And two rides in a row is pretty guaranteed to mean a pretty chill second ride.

The downside to this is that I tend to have a horse who is either over-responsive and extra sensitive to my legs or very much non-responsive and exhausting to ride. I much prefer a slightly hot reactive ride over a kick ride.

This look does not usually mean a quiet ride is forthcoming.

I did a bunch of work on getting Cisco sharper off of a very soft leg aid last fall when I was managing to ride with some consistency. It was going pretty well. But, then he got his vacation, and, well, we all know how how much we eat on vacation, and what it does to our waistline and desire to exercise once vacation is over.

It hasn't been too bad so far on our return to work - the lack of consistency due to the up and down weather has meant that Cisco has mostly had lots of energy and been spooky enough in the arena that I kind of wanted a lazy ride.

We got those lazy rides over the weekend when he was ridden 3 out of 4 days.

The first one was on Friday night, the day after he lost his brain upon seeing the water truck wheels in the crack under the overhead door in the scary end of the arena. He was completely chill right from the get-go. The ride was short, simple, and we threw in a bit of fun with a couple of attempts at cantering through some bending poles (well, pylons). Much different from the previous ride.

Totally unrelated to this post, but this was my prize bag from a 12 Days of Christmas contest that my vet clinic ran.

He had Saturday off and we tacked up again on Sunday. There were a bunch of horses in the arena, which immediately sets Cisco's chill level to a "having a beer on the porch with my buds" type of chill level.

So we putzed around for a few minutes of trot. He was being pretty good, no spooking or anything. But after about 5 minutes, I was pooped. 

Yep, he'd suckered me into working too hard again, and him not working at all. 

Cue repetitive transitions again. Walk/trot/walk/trot. I wanted a shouted response from a whispered aid.

And honestly, he gave it to me. Neither of us could maintain it for laps around the ring or anything, but he stepped up to the plate and got the hind end activated. This even applied to the canter - we had a fantastic lengthened canter down the long side each way, and was able to come back to a nice canter on a circle at the end without too much drama. Tracking left his shoulders even stayed in the appropriate alignment!

After the canter? 

We found a new gear at trot.

This was my sports car ride of a horse that I like. Powerful, forward, up in front. I completely had to change my position to match what he was offering me. 

Of course, we couldn't keep it for very long. And by no means did Cisco magically turn into Valegro. His neck was shorter than I would like and we had lost all semblance of straightness, but hey, you've gotta start somewhere, right? He offered, and I said I'll take whatever you will give me, but had to make sure I didn't get greedy.

Post-ride I gave Cisco a chance to stand on the Sure Foot Pads. He had a good session and really seemed to relax into it.

Cisco seldom stands with his ears lower than his withers, so it's a bit of a big deal when relaxes like this while standing on the pads. 

Since then, he's had another week off, as we got a bit of a blizzard that night and it brought some frosty air in with it. This weekend will be nice, but there is a clinic at the barn and I can't use the arena. So I'll be back to the over-reactive horse for my next ride next week!

No comments:

Post a Comment