Before we had an Odin birthday celebration on Sunday, we have actually been riding quite a bit. I have seen it noted on several blogs that it is hard to write interesting posts when your horse is just easy and good, and I totally understand.
Because if there ever was an interesting way to say "my horse does pretty much what I am asking and continues to improve faster than anticipated," I have tapped it out.
Regardless, that is what I will continue to say! Odie has been a good little worker bee for both me and R. He gives R2 a little bit more business during her rides but she is usually the one tasked with pushing past his comfort zone so that isn't unexpected. And he still is mostly awesome with her.
The laying on the bit behavior seems to finally be fading away. Which is a nice change, I even rode without gloves for the first time recently! As he is getting stronger he is able to hold a nice trot tempo for increasing periods and he is figuring out a reasonable range for head set.
|I can't find much to complain about with this trot|
It is actually a bit interesting to me because this is kind of what he was like when he first came to us, but then he grew and his body changed and his training increased and the poor guy basically had to learn all over again but now we are back to this nice place only with a lot more muscle and knowledge.
With the estrone in routine use, his stifle seems to be fine again and I am so, so grateful that a cheap drug helps him out this much. I will probably leave him on it all summer at minimum. We are still being careful to warm him up - at least 5 min walking each direction and trot left for a couple minutes before even attempting to go right - but in the past week he hasn't seemed really sore at all. Even after a decently tough work out.
We have also been doing poles which he thinks are fun but not as fun as jumping. So sometimes we jump the poles. But he has been cantering off nice and quietly and has even started landing on his left lead. Historically, he has always landed right when trotting a fence, but it looks like that is starting to open up some.
|The heavens literally shine on us :P|
The canter is just amazingly different, for which I have to thank R2 for all her hard work. But both leads are there and haven't even been temporarily misplaced recently. The first couple transitions can be a little rough....coughlotsofsquealingcough.....and he does still kick out at the outside leg sometimes. We have learned that he currently canters off better with pushing a smidge with the inside leg and holding, whispering with the outside leg, and verbally asking for the canter.
A full on squeeze with the outside leg will almost always get a cow kick so we will build up to that. Not that I mind having a horse who is sensitive to the leg! But we don't need to always object so strenuously, baby horse. Anyways, that is a future refinement.
For now, we can canter multiple laps and hold a lead! This is probably about 75% him getting stronger and 25% me figuring out how to help him hold that lead, i.e. stepping into my outside stirrup and supporting with the outside aids when turning.
Swapping still occurs at a reduced frequency, and usually when we first start cantering, less after he is warmed up at the canter. Curiously, he has started swapping in front sometimes now too. So now we have all the options - hold correct lead, swap in back, swap in front, and once in a while - a full lead change.
So yeah, nothing exactly thrilling happening here. We are working some on stretchy trot because Odin loves to stretch down. And hoping to get into some more jumping soon. We do jump on occasion but apparently my cameraman never makes it to my lessons. R did say she thinks he is ready to start some gymnastics.
Oh and I did hop on him bareback for the first time! He couldn't have cared less and mostly wanted to eat the camera:
Damn, I love this horse!