Warming Up

I had a lesson on Saturday and a lesson on Sunday, which are the first rides since my lasik procedure and it was really great to get back in the saddle. Last week felt like the longest week ever. It didn’t really motivate me to write but then I had a slammed weekend full of horses (many blog posts to come!) and now my world is righted.

Saturday was HOT. We had a wonderful heat wave that made the horses feel miserable. Plus Aria must have ovulated or something because the poor little girl just looked wrecked and agitated. P and I decided to take it easy and just ride Aria like a baby to keep life simple. We spent a long time just warming up. Aria has been waking up stiff lately. We think it’s because she’s not resting well due to being in season and the breeding area being next to her stall. They move her every time they breed now because she was body slamming the stall walls but I think she’s so fixated on the stallions right now that she won’t loosen up until I bring her home this weekend.

It took a while to get anything resembling a decent trot. Even though we were riding Aria like a baby we still want to promote good rhythm. After about 40 minutes she started to loosen up and bend. Then we started the lesson. Which was a lot of fun because I was working with Aria in uber baby mode and I’ve never experienced that before. She’s is so expressive about it. You can almost hear her saying ‘this is hard’.

I spent some time walking because of the heat but that gave me ample opportunity to ask for shoulder in/shoulder out and work her on a loose rein. Which is something we’ll tackle more of because right now loose rein is a foreign concept to her. I also spent a lot of time trotting on a loose rein and finding a comfortable idle speed while navigating the arena with a youth on a pony. My focus was sitting up and syncing with Aria; keeping it simple and sticking to the basics. Especially important because her fried and hormonal baby brain wasn’t giving us anything good to work with when pressure to perform was applied.

Overall my lesson took over 2 hours, which meant I spent my one-on-one time on the ground lunging and my time in the saddle as a secondary thought to the other person taking a lesson at that current time slot but I don’t mind spending the time prepping and stretching Aria, mentally and physically, so that the work we actually do is done right. It did cause me to miss out on hitting up Mary’s Tack sale with Alex though. 😦

For the fellow baby owners, what do you like to do when your baby horse is having an off day under saddle?

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6 thoughts on “Warming Up

  1. Ugh off days are hard. Keeping it simple and sticking to the basics is my go-to as well. There is a school of thought that says “keep them busy” but I often think it’s taken too literally or too aggressively. Mostly I just try to find ways to keep the horse engaged and trying, and especially working on things I know he can do well and succeed at. At least my horse does really well with praise and reaffirmation, so if I can find a way to get him to do something praise worthy, he can quickly build more confidence and sometimes even snap out of a funk.

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    • I don’t like ‘keeping them busy’ when it’s taken too literally either. Low pressure riding that lets them get the answer right every time is what I like. Just like you the positive experience is key for me. She likes being rubbed for a job well done and I like to say good girl but right now she thinks that means stop lol. We’ll have to work on that.

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  2. Ha- Carmen did not want to play at all today- I think she’s on the tail end of her heat (so to speak) and she was stiff and tight. I just spent a long time at the walk getting her to loosen up and relax. It took a while but we got there in the end.

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    • Mares…why do I love them again? Lol
      I enjoyed the easy riding. Sometimes in a lesson you feel the pressure to accomplish a lot. This off day was maybe a blessing in disguise for Aria and I because Sunday’s lesson was fabulous (I’ll post about it later).

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