Good news: reducing frog pressure seems to have brought Tristan sound again. At least, he’s sound (if stiff) today, for his first ride back after three weeks off from all the lame/unshod shenanigans.
As such, I just pulled him out and loosened him up for about thirty minutes. Nothing too complicated. I wanted to make sure the buttons were all still there, and to see what kind of horse I had. A semi-willing, sound, and stiff one. None of that really surprises me. Tris likes his time off, and he’s almost 23. He was bound to be stiff after it, especially since he’s apparently been doing a lot of running around in deep snow in turnout.
So, notes from the ride (of which I actually have a few pictures, miracle of miracles!):
- I need to work on my leg aids. I’ve gotten into the bad habit of going right to the spur. In my defense, you ride my horse and see if you don’t want to go for the nuclear option immediately. All the same, it’s a training issue that I’m reinforcing by not being careful and precise enough with my aids.
- I need to be more consistent with getting him to bend, which is to say, I need to work out a better way to start to incorporate it into the warmup and then to step up the pressure through the ride. Motorcycling through corners is unacceptable.
- He needed a longer walk warmup than I gave him, especially after so much time off. In retrospect, he would have benefited from a little bit of longeing to open up his back, then a longer walk warmup under saddle.
- Finally: LOOK UP LOOK UP LOOK UP GOD DAMN IT LOOK UP.