Winter is coming and at the moment at the end of November the ground is very hard and the horses can get sweaty if too much is done with them SO am taking it slowly with them although still trying to do ‘stuff’ with them to help keep the consistency of the CZT.
Today I played for a short while with Solly in the lowest round pen, this one is nearest the gate to the next field. We played with some gentle mind exercises to get us mentally connected first, things like sidepass a few steps then DHQ and halt for 5 seconds, then same on his other side. Then some backing up to connect me to his feet.
We connected very quickly so went on to circling in trot for relaxation (where he’s learned to blow out to relax his lungs and body) and to go long and low to stretch his topline and mind before trying a few strides of canter. I always check these to make sure the saddle is sitting well and to release any stiffness in his mind or body.
All went well so I did some work for the mounting block. Solly likes to ‘play’ a lot so when asking him to the mounting block he usually comes but not quite far enough, then he fiddles and chews his reins for a bit SO today we worked on getting this smoother with some treat training techniques. That went really well so the last time he came up to the mounting block nicely I mounted and rewarded him for willingness and nice behaviour.
Riding was short but good. As we could only do a bit I decided to do as much ‘without the reins’ as I could. I didn’t just ride with loose reins as Solly likes to have a ‘feel’ from his rider to keep connected, so with reins held we did turns from our focus/body/weight/leg aids and they went really really well….I was actually really happy with the results. Transitions from walk/trot and halt/backups were light and willing and we did some very subtle turns on the hq’s and then the forehand which I was very impressed with….the whole ride was lovely. Progress 🙂
My thoughts are on riding in the next field so I need to do more riding towards that area soon…before Winter sets in and the chance goes until next year!
- Shelley – HorseSavvy