Before taking Kat over to brush him off, I led him out to the 'bridge'. I walked up to and over it as if it were not even there. Because of this, Kat followed without any hesitation. When I lunged him, I lined him up a few times so he could go over the bridge by himself. Not even missing a step, over he went. One time though, he trotted on, then jumped off and went into a canter. Apparently he was having fun with it.
I harnessed him up, put him to the cart and off we went. Recently there was a CDE in California. A few or the club members here, went there to compete. I received a few photos in my inbox of horses doing the extended trot that were drool worthy.... man were those horses Moving!
We worked a bit on our extended trot, I took a hold of Kat, pushed him on and he did just that. He was just gliding around the arena. When we came down to a walk, I guided Kat over to the bridge. He walked right over it with no problem. We went over it both directions and he never missed a step.
Once we got a bit of the 'work' finished, I guided him out the gate and headed for the water. The hose was still running, which can be an issue for him. The water in the irrigation ditch had him slightly rattled on one of our outings, so I figured that letting the hose run will help him get over this. Twice through the water at a walk each direction and I shut it off.
Then as we were playing around, we went through the gates, around the stalls and trotted through the muddy water. We trotted through the water a few times each direction and Kat went through it with no hesitation at all. As we came around the front of the stalls, through the gate back into the pasture and down the slight hill, the neighbor behind us was out with a couple of his friends and seen us. They had been watching us and he said the pony was really looking good. Words I was happy to hear, considering how well he had worked. Awesome!
I moved on to working Pal. I have lunged him a few more times and figured it is time to start getting on him and we can work on things at the walk. Plenty of walking, stopping (by his choice), turning, walking off and plenty of circles. I honestly have not been on this horse for nearly two and a half years, yet the worst he did was stop and wait to be prompted to move on. How is that for a crazy Arab stallion? He still had plenty of energy, he hadn't even broken a sweat, he just chose not to bother using it if he didn't have to.
Even while lunging, he was not exactly 'energetic'. He was a bit lazy until I put the camera away and pushed him to actually work.
I like this picture, but he is not moving like he should. His head is raised to help 'lighten the load' on the front end. If he were more balanced, it would quite different.
I have also FINALLY gotten my hands on the book Centered Riding, by Sally Swift. For anyone who rides, this is one of those books you glance through and KNOW it is full of useful information. I have not gotten all the way through it yet, but using a few of the things she describes, I was able to ride with no lower back issues. Sure I feel it in a few places- inner leg and a bit in my calves- muscles that haven't been used in a while, but for the most part, it all went well. My seat felt deep, my legs felt longer and I think I need to drop my stirrups a hole... Talk about instant results.
Afterwards I got a few close up shots of his head. I have also gotten a book called Bodywork for Horses. I forget the authors name, but in the book it mentions massage, shiatsu, TTouch techniques and a few things on grooming. It also mentions how to make and use a hay wisp. I haven't tried it yet, but I may, just to see how it works. I'll post about that on the other blog when I do. I worked on Pal Saturday morning and He was so relaxed, he stood there half asleep, halter around his neck, rope looped over the rail and was really, really enjoying it. Naw, our horses aren't spoiled!