So, riding Sunday didn’t happen. We stayed out with friends on Saturday and didn’t get back till 1 am. And, apparently, I’m too old to stay out till one. It kicked my butt and I was out of commission all of Sunday.
Monday I did get back out. I wanted to try riding Scarlet in some of the other arenas at the barn. We had only been working in the jump arena since we got there. I wanted him to get used to his routine and working again before mixing it up so we stayed there all last week. This week, I decided we were ready to try the other arenas.
There are 4 main arenas at the new barn. One jump arena, two that can be turned out in and one that is used for flat lessons a lot. I wanted to try one of the turnout arenas since its pretty large and smack dab in the middle of the stalls. The one for flat lessons almost always has a group of people in it and I didn’t want to mess around there. It was a good day to try that, as some of the fences in the jump arena were being fixed. We wouldn’t have been able to use it anyway.
So we went out and tried that arena. We walked around a bit and I brought Scarlet into a bit of contact. But I really didn’t like the footing. I hadn’t realized how deep the footing was in that arena compared to the jump one. We are out of shape and I didn’t want to strain his legs too much. Plus, I wanted to work on transitions, which is enough work without Scarlet needing to fight the ground. So we left and tried the other turn out arena. It was deep too but mostly around the edges. The center was okay. So we did a big, slightly larger than 20 m circle for most of the ride.
The circle worked out well as its easier for me to focus on asking for the transitions if I don’t really need to worry about bend as much. We warmed up and then got to work. I did a few walk-trot transitions to work on Scarlet being in front of my leg. That isn’t a large problem for us once we warm up as he is usually raring to go after a canter. Then we focused on lengthening the trot and then coming back to a working trot. Half-halts are something Scarlet understands, but it depends on the day whether he decides to listen or not.
Monday, he definitely was trying to listen. Left was pretty good. Right is his bad bend so he fell apart a lot when I asked for him to come back. But we worked on it and he stopped trying to run back into the lengthening when I asked him to come back. That’s a lot of improvement since the last time I dedicatedly worked on these. We did some work in the canter as well. Those were much harder, again even more so to the right. His right canter is terrible. We have been working a lot on it but it is a very slow work in progress.
Overall, he did really good with the exercise and I was very pleased. This needs to be something that we work on more often as transitions are important for getting him engaged behind. I could definitely feel a tiny bit of improvement in the canter as he worked on actually getting his butt underneath him.
Scarlet worked hard on Monday but I did as well. My back muscles are not up to the task of working so hard. I was so sore that I couldn’t fall asleep. I had to get up and take some advil in order to get some rest.
Since I was so sore on Tuesday, obviously that meant that I needed to try to go for a run during my lunch break. Hahaha…ha…ha. That could have been better. But I did it. My goal is to get in better shape so I can support myself more and I don’t put more strain on Scarlet as I ask him to work harder. I was inspired by May As Well Event talking about how she fits in some working out even while riding. I’m planning on trying to run/work out 4-5 days a week. I’ll see how well I stick to that schedule.
Being sore, I figured we should try to work on forward and stretchy with circles and loops rather than anything really techincal. Which was a great idea since my legs protested loudly when I started trotting. Scarlet was very good and listened to my asking for bends on a circle at a walk and trot. We did a little alternating between a deep inside bend and a slight outside bend. Its pretty hard for him. I asked slowly and calmly and we eventually got it.
I think Scarlet was as tired as I was from our Monday workout. He stood still while I talked to the assistant trainer for about 15 minutes after our ride. Scarlet hates standing still. He will shift or step forward and back but never just stands. Poor horsie.
I’m not sure what the plan will for Wednesday’s ride. I’m going to work out during my lunch again so I’ll probably be pretty tired. I wish I had a trail buddy to do that but I haven’t really been at this barn long enough to get to know people. Someday soon hopefully.