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Sunday the sun rose and it was… a livable 27 degrees… as a high. Oh well. It was good enough to get to the barn. I had plan for a w/t and maybe even c hack. I was going to focus on quiet aids and a relaxed horse. I even put on my Dressage saddle and tall boots. I was ready. May greeted me with bright eyes and looked as ready for me to get some work done.

Kind of Like This πŸ™‚

Then I walked into the indoor. It was a bit colder in there. No worries. As I always try to do in winter, I hand walked May around the indoor a bit. I always feel like it is a nice opportunity for her back to warm up before I hop on up there. Then I felt it, under my feet. Frozen footing. Then super soft and deep footing, then frozen footing, and back and forth. Well, there goes my plan.

So what to do? With 3 inches of snow on the ground over at least an inch of ice, going for a trail ride around the property (my other go to) was also out of the question. I started off just walking around the indoor on a loose rein, but after 20 or so minutes of that, I needed to do something else for my sanity.

Let’s Face It… This is What We Want to be Doing

So we started working on some lateral work. I pushed May’s shoulder away for a few steps, then straight a few steps, then the other direction for a few steps. At first, she totally resisted, as this isn’t something we have worked on since November. Then she started to get loose, and I could tell the pony yoga was working. So I transitioned into moving the haunches away. The same pattern persisted: resistance to enjoyment.

Next, I reiterated the idea of moving away from my leg laterally in both directions in a super controlled way. We turned down the centerline and went 4 steps to the left, then straight, then 4 steps right, all the way down the centerline. It keeps her paying attention and holding herself, so she doesn’t just throw her shoulder over and fall out through my outside aides. Once I felt that we had warmed up properly, I asked for some more difficult stuff.

Ah! Yeah! Movin’ That Body!

First, we worked on haunches in. All I looked for was 2 steps of proper haunches in before I moved the shoulder back into line with the haunches and gave huge pats. We ended with no sweat, but definitely a warmed and more stretched out horse. How are you dealing with this RIDICULOUS COLD?

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  1. martidoll123

    hey at least you rode. UGH. This cold is nuts. and the uncertain ground is horrible. Our ring has never really frozen up until this year. And it is in spots so you don’t know where it is frozen. GROSS. Yay for getting up and doing SOMETHING. It is supposed to warm up a bit this weekend, I hope for you too. I am going to be mighty bitter if it doesn’t warm up a bit. DONE with this weather. πŸ™ I am glad May listened to you and you had a nice ride albeit a slow one πŸ™‚

    1. Emily

      Unfortunately (or fortunately) we are going to be on our honeymoon next weekend! Super excited but also wish it had been a week or two earlier! ?

  2. KC Scott

    I got in an entire week of riding before it just snowed almost half a foot and the streets aren’t even drivable right now. I’d kill for an indoor right about now…though it doesn’t help any if it’s frozen!

  3. Genny - A Gift Horse Blog

    Hiding in my house? Between my usual ride being a little sore and it being so cold I feel like I’m on a mini-riding vacay lately πŸ™

  4. Alex

    Pony yoga! I love it. I’ve been trying to work on that stuff a bit with Scarlet but it is definitely hard. Little by little, we will get there.

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