11.10.09: The Next Ride

With the chaos of the Day of the Horse things were just too busy to get in a ride. I finally managed to take some time the weekend after, and Storm was quite pleasant as I tacked up, standing well in the barn aisle with almost no corrections needed. There were still a few small bumps from the raindrop that he received at the Day of the Horse, but he didn't seem to be sensitive from it. I headed down to the arena, and following Kirsten's suggestion set myself up to ride right away. He cooperated and offered me the saddle on the second request, and so I mounted and we got started. I started out to the right, which is his more challenging side usually, and it seemed to be the case. He wanted to be heavy, so we worked on halt transitions, which were HEAVY and really hard to hold onto. He crept to a stop like a locomotive grinding to a halt in the station, one slow labored step at a time. Once he came to a halt, I asked him to back up until he was able to release his neck, and then we stepped off forward again attempting to push off his inside hind. It seemed to be working, though he was not getting any lighter on the stops. I had to focus very hard on making sure that I was concentrating on not just pulling back with my arms, but supporting down my spine and using bone structure to create the resistance.
We worked for a while to the right and switched to the left, and found some improvement. He was able to stay steadier and find his balance a bit better, and the stops were not quite as heavy. We worked for a while adding in stops periodically and into backup to work on the balance when he would really dump on the forehand. He got steady enough that I felt like we could work on a bit of trot, and so we began to add energy, and re-stabilize and add a bit more energy until he shifted easily into the trot. When he began to drop down, I worked to try to rebalance him, and when he dropped to a walk I immediately asked for a halt to backup transition to really balance him equally. He was getting steadier, and so we gave it a little go again to the right, and lo and behold his halt took half the effort that it did in the beginning. We played around with that a bit more, and I was so pleased, that I quit and didn't even bother to set him up on the long lines. We called it a day and headed back up to the barn.
I groomed him up good after taking off the saddle, and was pleased with the sweat pattern, but I found that he seemed to be a bit sore on the right side. Our lesson is in a week, so hopefully we'll be able to unravel the issue then!
Next Ride:
11.10.15: Back on the Pin Ball