Thursday, December 5, 2013

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

.... really, really frightful. 

Yesterday, it was a balmy 85 degrees. I had been stuck in my house for a few days waiting on the truck to be finished, and I finally got it back yesterday, just in time to squeeze a ride in on Tre. We had all this beautiful warm weather to ride in, and I was stuck at home... ugh! 

Tre was HOT after her few days off, and I lunged her for a minute before I got on. She was still a bit uppity when I mounted up, but I figured I would ride her down for a few and she would settle. She did not settle, unfortunately... O started calling to her a few minutes into the ride, and she lost it. I was not getting anything productive done at all, so I hopped back off and put her on the lunge for a second time to wind down some more. She ran, and ran, and ran, and ran for several minutes before finally slowing down, blowing hard and rolling her eyes at the watchful neighbor dog. I can't blame her for feeling fidgety around the dog though, seeing as the dog has been raising hell in the pasture :( Finally she settled, and I got back on again. She was really quite good, especially in the canter.... I could ride that canter all day long. It's just AWESOME.

She is not like Gogo or O, both of which need(ed) a very, very, very long trotting warmup. Gogo could not be pushed until she was sufficiently ready (mentally), which took up to an hour of trotting on a longer contact. Every ride, she always had a moment where she suddenly would melt into this incredible pliable state, and once she was there she would do absolutely anything with just a thought from me. She felt smooth and buttery, it's the only way I could describe it... moving her around between my legs and hands when she was in her zone was just like spreading butter. It was really incredible. O is similar to this in that she needs to be in that ultra-relaxed buttery state in order to really come together. Gogo would shuffle along on the hollow side until her back came up, and O runs along on the hollow side until her back comes up - both need(ed) total relaxation through their toplines in order to be able to take a contact and come round.
Tre is a bit different in that she needs to be activated a bit. She is more than happy to plunk around on her forehand, head too low and disengaged - plenty relaxed, but totally disengaged. When she is hot and fresh, then she is similar to the others, but by and large she is quiet. Once she gets warmed up (sometimes she really has to be booted forward, sometimes she needs some relaxation work), her best friends are lots of transitions between the trot and canter. She needs activation more than she needs relaxation - but she needs to be relaxed in order for the activation to work. Everything good in dressage starts with relaxation.

She is pretty hairy, and given the fact that she worked pretty hard in the 85 degree weather, she was very sweaty when we were finished. I took the opportunity to rinse her off for probably the last time in awhile - not quite a bath, but it was close!


The expected cold front came blasting in today and dropped temps into the 20's with sleet and wind chills in the teens. I managed to squeeze in a good lunge with Tre before the worst of it came in. I was not in the mood to get bounced around by a very fresh little 5 year old, so I didn't even think about getting on, but she was actually very quiet all things considered. Regular, consistent work is key for keeping her brain in order!

Lots and lots of transitions help to activate the trot. She wasn't particularly engaged in the canter, but she was getting some nice trotwork in. Pieces, pieces....

I wanted to lunge O today as well, but given the state of her nasty leg, I figured I would just wait until the storm fizzles out in a few days. With several days of cold hosing, Theraplating, medicating, and wrapping, it seems to be relatively under control.... 

I lunged her last night after I rode Tre, and she was very fresh and very sound. I hate to push it, but she looks great, so she'll go back to work when the weather relents. We have stuff to do... we can't be sitting on the sidelines like bums! No more leg stuff please!

Also, no more crappy weather please... we really weren't feeling it today. It's only supposed to get colder, icier, snowier, and crappier..... 

Gingham is temping me by telling me she'll send her lovely Pia down here to join my crazy mare herd.... like I need THAT temptation! If she comes complete with her own trust fund, she can come! ;) My bank account can't handle temptation like that!

Most importantly of ALL, Niamh's fundraiser to help replace all her stolen tack is up on her blog.... go help out if you can!!


  1. Ugh! Tell me about it! The weather here us just horrible. I just drove home from the barn during a snowstorm, and next week the lows are close to zero. Brrrrr!

  2. But I want you to have Pia... not that I could fund it.

  3. Pia and you need to be together. Like Pias and Carrots. Haha, get it? I don't know I'm so cold my funny bone is broken.

  4. I cannot imagine living somewhere where it goes from 80 to the 30's in a day. It's in the 20's here but it's been a slow slide from when we last saw the 80's back in September. Much more civilized.

    P doesn't have a Kennedy trust fund, but she does has a small "college fund" she could take with her. Also she has a SERIOUS wardrobe. like, bigger than mine. she's sorta like Malibu Barbie in that sense.

    1. I'll tell you what, if miss Tre finds herself the perfect kid rider to go to, Pia can come. She's lightly on the market and I've had lots of interest already!

  5. I agree! No more crappy weather and no more leg stuff (although it's been my legs suffering here and not Chrome's, but still I don't want to deal with anymore leg stuff for either of us!). I'm glad O is improving. :)