Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A rainy night in Cleveland

Due to rain, I rode Cruiser in the arena for the first time since spring, and he did much better than I expected. He is 24, now, and in the last few years, he hasn’t been very cooperative in the arena. He doesn’t have the spring or enthusiasm. Also, he seems to be having trouble holding his head at the vertical. I am fairly certain that is caused by the tumor on his thyroid. It is getting pretty big. I know that how a horse holds his head isn’t as important as how he moves his body, but I am not sure if we can ride as connected as we used to if he is uncomfortable with the position of his neck. He is continually trying to find a good spot, and it often deteriorates into him trotting with his head straight up in the air like a Saddlebred. Of course, then I fall in the dip in his back, and it is all downhill from there.

We started out with a lot of walking to get him warmed up—and we started the direction that he doesn’t want to go in. (Another fairly recent development.) once we started to trot, he was all over the place. The surprise—he settled down in a few minutes and lowered his head. I gave him a lot of rein, and he moved fairly well. When he started to putter, I was able to keep him regular with my seat. When we went his better direction, he was even better.

Here is what I learned—all the work with Cole had mad me a better rider! I have to be so very aware of what I am doing with Cole that I was quicker with Cruiser. Also, I am used to Cole’s stronger movement, now. I was able to use that skill to create a stronger movement in Cruiser—and he responded.

I was dreading riding Cruiser in the arena this winter since things went so poorly last year, but I’m not as concerned about it, now. With my new found skills, I may not be able to bring him back to where he was when he was younger, but maybe we can at least have a more consistent and pleasant ride.

I then rode Cole. He was a little goofy about the far end of the arena because of all the noises from the rain, but I persisted in doing my 5 laps at a walk each way. His trot was enthusiastic and pretty spectacular, at times. We worked on corners and circles and transitions. He seems to be grasping backing up pretty good. We were doing 4 steps at a time. after the first step, the cues for the rest were very light. I tried cantering, but we didn’t get it. I guess I need to do it more down trail.

1 comment:

achieve1dream said...

I'm glad you figured something out that works for Cruiser. :)

Cole sounds like so much fun. Goofy boy.