Archive for September 4th, 2009

Hillwork

amywink September 4th, 2009

This week, Will and I did a lot of work using hills. Well, the tiny rises in the pasture we can call hills. Jerry Hess had suggested working Will on the ground to stretch his back and legs so Wednesday I subjected Will to this prescription: backing up and down a slight incline. Clearly, this was incredibly cruel work for Will who protested with tossing head and his classic anxiety behavior of nibbling.

But he did go down the slight incline backwards…..in a winding, swerving, veering, free-style kind of way.

Then we turned and backed up the slight incline, which he did much better, straightening his path considerably and walking backwards quite well. We tried once more each way and by then, Will was almost puffing. One puff when we were finished each way. He did straighten his movement each time so there was considerable improvement from his first backward slalom—though he really thought he should get to eat grass and not do this crazy-weird exercise I was suggesting. Hopefully this work will help us back straight in the dressage ring.

Today, he got to work hills in a different way. For our drive this morning, we spent a lot of time driving through the pasture with the most ditches and rises. At a trot. While it was good work and a challenge, he never protested and went forward happily, ears forward, as we took our circuitous route through the pasture again and again.

We’d been taking it relatively slowly in our drives so today’s extended time at the trot was very good for both of us. I’m working figuring out what kind of distance we actually are covering. We have been extending our drives past an hour and so far there has been no protest on his part, though today he really thought we were done when we headed down the road again. Nope. Back down the road one more time before stopping. And that worked out quite nicely.

The weather was wonderful too–cloudy and cool breezes. We’re hoping for rain later today and all weekend. The cracks in the ground are getting to be dangerous and Will had to swerve today to miss one he noticed before I did. I will say driving around those cracks is a good lesson in learning to feel the bit and look ahead of you and not at the horse’s head! Still, I’d rather have rain. I’ll learn to look ahead some other way!

Happy Crew

Buffalo

amywink September 4th, 2009

I am really glad Will can’t see these. Imagine the rodeo. . . .

img_3850.jpg
img_3852.jpg
img_3849.jpg