Endless long day today, which started with a 3.5 hour meeting and by 1pm my hopes of sneaking away to ride in the afternoon (my second office is 8 minutes from the barn!) began to fade. Then my boss poked her head in and said, “The roads are starting to ice up a bit, you should head to the barn while you can.”
Didn’t have to tell me twice! I changed, threw tack on Tristan, and we had a lovely 40 minute ride. The warmup was especially nice: we got a nice forward rhythm established and as I gradually picked up the reins he reached for the bit nicely.
Once he was thoroughly warmed up and supple and had worked for about 20 minutes in a light frame, we took a short walk break, then worked on transitions some more. Tracking right, some of these were lovely and prompt and soft – there were one or two trot-canter moments that had a great feeling of just stepping right into the gait. To the left, not as much, but he was also coming much more round through the outside rein to the left, so that was still excellent.
I was pleased with one aspect of our warmup in particular: I incorporated a LOT of leg-yielding into it, hither and yon, sometimes the entire diagonal stepping over, back and forth, changing directions, and it really seemed to pay off right away in how much he came through his hind end. He didn’t fall forward and get hard in the bridle until the end, when he was clearly getting tired.
Not sure if I’ll be able to see him tonight – I have to travel for Christmas and we are predicted for a nasty little bout of weather that might make it safest just to hit the road and go, rather than swing by the barn. If at all possible, I’ll stop by and longe him, but we’ll see.