Literally sprinting on horseback: Oats update!

We had a pretty nice weekend together, unremarkable but Oats was friendly, and he got lots of hand-grazing after our rides. Saturday was so warm, Oats was covered in white sweat and I had sweat dripping down my forehead from my helmet!

And this takes us to this week- 1 dressage lesson. Tired. So tired!

So, to add to the theme of ‘draggy’ this week, I had an unusually cardiovascular lesson last night, and mannnnn it kicked my butt! I had arranged for two private lessons, and 1 week off from dressage training while my lesson buddy was away for three weeks. Gonna be honest here- I was dreading the private lessons because I was afraid an epic ass-kicking was going down- and I wasn’t wrong here!

We started right off the bat on a trot circle getting Oats forward and off my leg. Easier said than done, of course. He protested in the form of his head coming up, moving up into canter instead of a big trot, and his favourite, throwing a buck here or there.

We handled each of these issues with two things- not pulling back if he goes to canter, instead put in a FIRM inside bend and let him go into trot on his own (it’s very hard to maintain that bend and any sort of commitment in the canter), and then when he does go into trot, ‘give’ more with my arms and work that trot! The bucking/balking part? More forward, and outside bend if he is getting too naughty. He dropped that move asap.

He toned down the naughty, but oh boy I was working my butt off getting the forward (not canter) trot. I was sweating, breathing heavily, everything! Here’s the surprising bit- our right-lead canter had better ‘surge’ moments than the left lead. I know, I was surprised too! Usually the right lead is my sucky, don’t know what I’m doing- lead.

Left he wasn’t giving much to me, but on the right…Progress!

It was exhausting though. My legs cramped up, I was gasping for breath…And I’m STILL coughing up grossness from my stupid cold, that feels like it’s been going on for 3 weeks…

And something that I am still working on- my hands coming up too high, defensively. Turns out when I give my hands something ‘to do’ they don’t rise up as high, so I focused a lot on using the outside rein to keep Oats on the track and stopped myself from trying to get the inside bend as much. It definitely helped.

So. tired. today. though. Karen was like, why are you breathing hard? Your horse isn’t working that hard?!! UGH no kidding eh? I was huffing and puffing and Oats is like…yeah…no problem…

ARGH ponies! It felt like I was doing my sprint workouts with a horse!

I am thinking about avoiding the stairs at work and maybe taking it easier by using the elevator…I’m that tired!

(I had to come back and edit this, as I realized the reason I felt so tired this morning was a. strenuous workouts lately, b. recovering from a lousy head cold but MOSTLY c. took allergy medication in the AM instead of at night and basically sleepwalked to work! Yeesh, no wonder I thought I was going to fall down at the gym this afternoon. Eeek! Also made me realize why, exactly, I was having such great sleeps this week…Because I was medicated to the wazoo, that’s why!).


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