Oats had two lessons this week AND a trail ride around the block- what a great week for us!
Tuesday was our jump lesson, and I had done a few trot fences the day before and kind of failed at them, sooooo it was homework time: Trot all the fences! Truth be told, I am the weakest at trot fences. Man, I just do not like them. So it was a good opportunity to really get deep in the discomfort zone, hahah.
We did a little course of the trot fences, a few canter circles and he was really good. I was…Less good, ha but learning. Go pony!
Wednesday I remembered that I don’t want to get into a fight with Oats, like at all and we had a bad track record of just really crummy rides on Wednesday. Spooky, stiff resistant, angsty, just argh. So I let all that go and put on my ‘Please Pass Wide and Slow’ vest and we hit the streets.
Oats was great! I NEVER trail ride him, and he has not been off property since last August, two days before his serious injury sidelined him for 7-8 months! The spookiest part of the ride was leaving the property actually- we go through the owner of the farm’s driveway, past their house and barn, and dump trucks, surveyors who were clearing property, sheds, machinery, long haul trucks and a dump truck drove right up to as as we were heading out- non stop excitement!
Oats kept his hair on THANK GOD and was a gem about it, and we both breathed a sigh of relief when we got to the road. The roads were very busy but people were relatively careful and I rode in the middle of my lane to ensure nobody tried to buzz us.
And then on Thursday for our dressage lesson, I was a tad apprehensive, because last Thursday Oats was very stiff and uncooperative. Not bad, just…not very good, and our canters had been deeply crappy since. So, not thinking great things. BUT I did ride in my silly fitted saddle pad, like I did for my hack, to see if he needed more padding since he lost weight. Anything works, right?
He was great! He warmed up nicely, and the name of the game was, how little of a ‘hint’ of an outside rein can you use to keep him straighter? My inclination is to straight-up bend to the outside and as I am learning…It’s too much. Be more subtle, less cueing, easier.
He was so lovely, it was the nicest canter again. We were back, baby!! Yeah Oats!
Now all he has to do is gain some weight and we’re golden. I guess going out on a hack and NOT engaging in a fight with him really worked out for us, phew 🙂