Monday, November 26, 2018
Vacation over Miss Pen
It has been about a month since I was able to ride at home. Usually in the winter I give my horses a few months off. This used to work at my old farm because I could start riding in my ring in April. At my new place, the footing is still hit or miss in May, so by the time my horses are fitted up it is more than half way through the season. Plus we are making such great progress, the thought of halting and having to start over 5 months from now is discouraging. I was determined to make sure I keep them going this year.
Originally my mom had said I could bring my horses to her place when I lost Indy. But she didn't want me bringing three there for the winter, so that plan was out. I reached out to a lady who is running her business out of a local farm here to see if I could rent arena time. She agreed, and the barn is only 10km from my house so the commute is nice and easy.
Tuesday was the first day out for us. Penny was certainly excited to go do something and she ran onto the trailer. We arrived with no issue to meet some new smiling faces in the barn. Everyone was very friendly and the barn was quiet and relaxed. Penny has actually been here many times before as an old friend used to own it and we rode there often. I quickly tacked her up and took her into the arena. We walked around on foot for a few minutes and chatted with a friend who just happens to be boarding her daughters two horses there for the winter.
Penny was pretty fresh but we kept it together, did lots of stretching and lateral work at the walk to loosen up and relax. We did mostly walk and just a nice working trot, incorporating circles and just trying to stretch. We ended on a good and happy note and she seemed happy to be back into work! We went back again yesterday and started with a lot of walking. There was a beginner lesson going on so we tried to be polite and stay out of the way. The walking was great for Penny to warm up. We did lots of shoulder in and travers up and down the long sides. There were cavaletti set up on the circle of death so we took advantage of those and walked over those on the circle.
We were able to work into some really good trot work once she settled. She is a strong and forward girl that I was trying to remind myself to get my leg on and really ride her into the bridle. By the end she was quite supple and soft and we had some really improved rhythm in her gaits. I incorporated the cavaletti on the circle and down the long sides at the trot. She was really good for this, and no rushing.
We did some easy canter work and there were no shenanigans. I just let her canter large and big circles to let her stretch her legs and blow off some steam. The weather has made it difficult for the horses to run around as much as they would like to! We finished our ride with a nice relaxed long rein walk. I had her untacked and back on the trailer and home within 30 minutes. You really can't beat the convenience of this place for us!
We are doing back to back clinics this weekend, hopefully we get some homework to keep us busy this winter!
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