Some really lovely counter-canter

After a lot of strenuous trying, haha. Dressage lesson last night, and in the theme of our dressage lessons- I get SO much out of them! I feel like while I am spending a lot of $$$$$$$ on lessons, they have really strengthened my relationship with Oats. This can only be a good thing, right? 😉

No dressage media so from an older horse show- we were probably schooling First here?

Last week we worked on me at the canter, not twisting. This week my lesson partner and I first tackled the infamous 3-loop serpentine from the First Level Tests. No joke, this serpentine was the BANE of my existence when I was showing in First Level (now haven’t shown dressage in like 2 years, thanks COVID and injury) soooo I wasn’t super thrilled to start off the bat with that challenging exercise.

BUT, ye of little faith it went super well!

We first schooled the exercise in the trot, because you can really work the angles here if you do it right. You don’t need to make it super round, you can sort of ‘straighten’ and then leg-yield casually back to the wall. When you get good, THEN you can make it round. But it can be tricky to hold that lead!

And you know what? Oats nailed it!! Right off the bat?! I was stunned. Then I was like, ok fine, that was his good lead (right), it’ll be worse on his left. But then he did it so perfectly to the left that we repeated the exercise twice and called it good. Who is this horse?!! I love it!

So then we upped the ante: Real counter-canter work. And this, friends was NOT easy for me- my brain felt like a tangle of spaghetti, it was confuzzling haha. But we persevered, worked through some things in a nice and challenging, but doable way, and we got it! We got it on the right, and then went back to the left, which was the harder lead to hold counter-canter in.

Go Oats!! Really loving our rides. 🙂

Some great rides

Oats has been a star this week! I was a bit freaked out because after I rode in the outdoor (it is deep and the sand is harder on his aging joints), w/t only, he presented the next day with some bigtime swelling in his injured leg region. EFFFF….Except it’s windpuffs. He is sound, and the swelling lump went down after the ride, basically deflated. Oh Oats!

We’re getting there! (from a jump lesson a few weeks ago when it was actually warm out!) Spring in reverse??

It’s not amazing, but it’s also not a biggie really. He has now presented with them on and off all week, since I basically triggered them by riding in the sand 1 day. Oh well!

Otherwise, we had our jump lesson and it was pretty thrilling for me. We’re still JUST getting back into it, and we jumped…TWO FEET! whee! I swear to god it looked like 3ft to me until I moved the jumps back and realized how…small they really were. Hah. Fooling me for sure. I had adrenaline! I also wore my ‘big boy’ spurs and kind of overused them once and Oats was mightily offended. Sorry dude, he was such a good babysitter for me 🙂 What a sweetie.

And to think, I was freaking out this day because he was going too fast! Hahaha.

Wednesday we walked around the big block with his horse neighbour Mercury. It was very pleasant, and the boys were as good as gold. Yay Oats!

Thursday we had our dressage lesson and I am happy to report that not only does Oats look like he’s gaining his weight back (a struggle!!) but he remembered how to counter-canter!! Amazing! We did some light counter-canter work and he was a STAR! Ok, we did struggle on one rein in particular (going right) but to be honest with how rusty we were, he was fantastic. I had to wrap my brain around it too, I mean it’s been over a year!? Great job Oats, what a superstar 🙂

And he has today off. Well deserved I think! He has also enjoyed over 10 minutes a day of hand grazing on the nice new lush grass, as he is not allowed turnout for a year due to his tendon injury. It’s a really big bummer, but we’re trying to work with what we’ve got at this stage and I absolutely DO NOT want to risk another really serious injury for the old boy.