Friday, September 14, 2012

Abs-Solutely Fun

After all the fun with the show, I wanted a ride I did not have
to think too much. So I chose to ride Dottie.

Her College Girl has left until the winter and her work load is much smaller. Already she has put on a few pounds. I decided to do some intervals with her around the big field. My foot was really sore and the thought of a stirrup hitting hit made me cringe so we went bareback.

Dottie, from above (photo credit to her College Girl)

Dottie's least favorite gait is the walk, simply because it is too much work for her. 14h Rosemary could out walk her. We warmed up at walk as much as she would, then went to the trot. The first side of the field is all slightly up hill, so Dottie had to push from behind. When we go to the corner she, of course, wanted to cut it so  I had to bend her around my leg, then move her forward. This side is a short side that is right next to a barb wire fence. Dottie trotted right along. At the next corner I again set her up for the turn and for a downhill section. She actually maintained the trot well and only slipped in the back end once (weak stifle). Since Dottie tends to be heavy on her forehand, I have to really think about sitting up and keeping my shoulders back and down. A slight dip, then it is a bigger up hill section than the first. Dottie responded and carried herself up the hill. All the while her ears were happily moving in rhythm. I love happy ears.
Once at the top, we made the turn and came back to walk for another short side. She was looser and more willing to walk after the trot lap.
Dottie got a bit lazy with the College Girl, so we have had to remind her that with us she needs to move forward. She will only give what you ask for which makes her a great baby sitter. For some reason the College Girl was a bit nervous with Dottie and really was a timid rider. Dottie does have a buck in her, but overall I find her a quieter ride.
Well after we walked the short side, it was back to trot to repeat the track. This time I asked for a little more trot. I had to be careful because she is due for shoes and I forgot to put her bell boots on.  She again balanced back on the down hill with one slip and moved forward to the up hill. On the hill, I moved her on and left it to her whether or not she would like to canter this time. A quarter the way up, she smoothly picked up canter for about half the hill and came back to trot for the last quarter. She enjoyed it making the ride even better for me.
I had to end the ride after a cool out walk since I still had to go ride Comrade.
His ride was the complete opposite of the ride with Dottie. He was really "up" and spooky. Being bareback was fun in a "Lets see if I can stay on" kind of way. He did eventually settle to end on a longer rein with a really nice trot opening both directions. I think he got kicked again because he was sticky with right lead canter. Hopefully it will not be like the last time where he was off for weeks.
So I ended the day with two good rides and a memory of happy ears. When I woke the next day, I realized not only did I make Dottie work, she made me work my core. I could feel a slight soreness, like I had done a ton of sit ups. To me that is a good feeling to have. It means I was riding correctly and supporting Dottie. And I will take that exercise any day :) 

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