Friday, November 13, 2009

First canter!

Kenny and I went to the barn today to ride. We weren't planning on cantering but Lucy was going so well and so going around a corner at the trot I asked her gently with my outside leg and she picked it right up! She was a bit quick at the beginning but does really well with half halts, and I actually got a few really nice strides of balanced canter out of her. She is much more balanced to the right than the left (I really can't figure that one out; hopefully the chiro will help answer that question when he sees her next week) and she had a bit of trouble picking up her left lead, so on the second try I got off her back and used an open inside rein and she got it no problem. She is simply amazing. I am head over heels for this horse. She even nickered to me when I walked into the barn this evening!

Kenny rode her after me and did some great trot work. She was really stretching through her back and into the contact, asking for some more rein. He did a great job with her. Like most OTTB's, she doesn't respond well to a lot of contact with the reins, so it's all give and take with her (I must have said "half halt, release!" about 10,000 times this evening lol). She responds REALLY well to the rider slowing down his or her posting if she is getting quick at the trot, and her steering has greatly improved already. We were doing serpentines and circles with minimal popping of the outside shoulder.

I also asked her for the beginnings of a bend tonight, which she did not like so much, but it will get there.

I think I may need a bit with some more leverage for her as she gets stronger. At the canter she was quite strong and again I really had to use my seat more than anything else to control the pace a bit. I am retraining myself as much as I am retraining her! I didn't ask her to canter for long, just once or twice around the ring at the very most. I am so pleased with her. I checked her hind end and she didn't react at all to my palpations along her SI joint, so I guess she isn't as sore as when I first got her. I'm not sure if she tweaked herself out in the paddock at her old barn and just needed a few days to recover, but I am happy it's not anything big.

She is such a sweetheart, too. After we were done riding she required almost an hour of cooling out. The weather today is really strange: in the low 50's, very humid (my hair wanted to curl today!) and raining, so she took forever to dry out. I got my heavy wool cooler to start out and when she was mostly cool I switched to my lighter fleece cooler to finish the job. Anyway, the entire time we were cooling her out we just walked in the indoor and she followed without a halter on. She walked right beside me and every so often kind of put her chin on my arm, wanting a bit of love. Then we did some stretching exercises with treats, asking her to stretch around to her side to get the treat or reach down in between her front legs, etc. She did really well with that.

Basically what I am taking forever to say is that I am so happy with this horse so far, and I've only had her for five days!! I am really excited about where we will go together. As I was riding her tonight I thought she would be a really great dressage horse, but I think she'll be versatile enough to do whatever we want with her.


Free lunging in the indoor.

Me riding.

Kenny riding.

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