Last night, the plan was for a short dressage school: long and low, pushing from behind, focusing on muscle-building.
I couldn’t stay in the indoor. It was too pretty. Rides in the outdoor are not productive, for a variety of reasons; or at least, they’re not the kind of productive that I wanted to be last night.
So I compromised, and we spent 30 minutes walking the big hay field to warm up. It was an absolutely gloriously beautiful night after a rainy morning, and though he was perhaps trippier than usual, Tristan felt great.
In fact, he felt so great, he bolted with me across the field. He got 10-12 good strides in while I sort of stuck to the saddle in disbelief. Then I thought about dropping the dressage whip to minimize distractions, but the idea of walking all the way back to fetch it late was incredibly unappealing. So then I hauled up on the reins and decided I was DONE. It was never a really serious bolt (trust me, we’ve done those!) and he was antsy and blowing the rest of the walk. So, if you’re keeping track, lunatic behavior two days in a row. Yay pergolide? (Hey, I’ll take it!)
We went back to the indoor and picked up a trot and I liked the feel of it a lot: not as loose and stretchy as I wanted, and not as forward, but I felt real power coming from his hind end. He felt solid underneath me in a way he hasn’t for a little while.
We did about 10 minutes of trot both ways, focusing on coming up through the hind end and the back, and then about 2 minutes of canter. He was blowing and a bit sweaty after the canter, which made me feel pretty rotten about his fitness, but so it goes – we’ll get it back.
I stripped tack and threw and irish knit on him and we took a walk around for another 15 minutes or so. He didn’t really need that; honestly, he would’ve been fine with a few minutes of walking and going back to his stall, but the weather was so lovely, and it won’t be for much longer.
Tonight: more of the same, with some short canter intervals, OR the night off, depending on how my thinking about the rest of the week’s planned rides goes.