For a long time the idea or thought of working in continuous circles, was a concept I just didn't get. Why all the work on circles? Don't the horses travel straight when going down the rail??? Isn't that where you ride when you show? When you go around the arena, aren't you working in one big circle?
I am still feeling the lingering effects of my cold and getting out to work pony man is still a process, but it is fun and sitting in the cart as he goes cruising around- it's just awesome.
So Saturday I figured we would start out working on our circles. It may be what boosted our chances at the show, but it is never a bad thing to practice. Since we will be competing at our first ADT in February (which includes a dressage test) we need to work on all of the movements that will be in it.
Kat was working pretty well, but I could tell that him having all the time off he has gotten- is not helping us any. He seems to do better with steady work. Then again, maybe it's me that needs the steady work. Who knows, but yeah. I'm sure it doesn't hurt either of us.
We worked for a while in the 'arena', making circles, doing serpentines, cutting across on the diagonals and Kat seems to just trot on forever. I finally stopped him and figured it would be best to let him walk and cool out as we went out in the neighborhood. He got a bit amped up here and there. We didn't go our usual long route and by the time we got back home he was acting like he was ready to go again.
One of the things I though of while we were out, we may expect our horses to be 'right where we left off last time' with our training, be it riding or driving, but to be fair, they probably expect the same from us as well. How many times can we honestly say our ride/drive today was as good if not better than the last one? Sometimes they are. Sometimes we steadily progress. Then one day it all goes down the drain in the blink of an eye. It happens to everyone at some point... Some days it is us, some days it is the horse and some days both of us are 'off'.
When we got back home, since Kat was wound up again, I took him out back and put him to work some more. We worked on bending to the inside and making 'round' circles. Amazingly enough, even if he was being a brat, judging by our wheel tracks in the dirt- our circles were pretty damn round! He was being a total brat too. Going to the left he was hanging on the bit. Going to the right he would not bend or tip his nose to the inside of the circle.
Yet somehow through it all, our circles were still fairly round, which makes no sense to me at all. I mean if things are going well, everything is flowing like it should, they should be round. But if something is not right, there is resistance, a tug of war or craziness going on- the circles should be anything BUT round, right? That's how it makes sense in my world anyways, but looking at the wheel tracks was telling me different.
Before we finished up and called it good, Kat did give and soften going to the left. Or maybe I did, but at least we came to an agreeable middle and left it alone. He also tipped his nose to the inside when going to the right. He was bending in a beautiful arc, at least as much as the shafts would allow and it was all like it should be. At least for a few strides before I stopped him so it couldn't fall apart from there.
Maybe this weekend we can work on another part of the dressage test and see what else needs help.