After months and months (and months) of trudging along slowly, Odin has occasionally been showing moments of true brilliance. Not that anything is changing in our day to day and I expect another year of slowly plodding along, but it has been...motivating I guess...to see what we are trying to bring out of that ever changing body.
For example, our canter right has mostly been mediocre at best. He struggles to hold the lead behind, tends to counter bend and lay on your inside leg, and then just lean on the bit and be downhill as hell. It's pretty attractive.
We have been chipping away at it and making progress, but it hasn't been anything to brag about. Then randomly, the other day he was doing his usual and I asked him to come back to trot to rebalance.
Instead of trotting, he set back on his butt and offered this lovely, floaty, slow canter.
It lasted for maybe 6ish strides and I am not sure either of us understood what had just happened. It hasn't happened again to the right, but to the left it pops up now and again. If that is what his canter will be like once he is all grown up and strong, I will be one lucky horse owner.
Jumping this weekend seemed different too. While homeboy is a natural leaper and loves to do it, he tends to land in a heap on the far side of the jump and we haven't done much to address it yet since we have been building the canter. Saturday R2 spent a whole ride just getting him to think forward after a jump and it seemed to click in his brain.
I jumped him some Sunday and Monday and both times he landed in a nice canter instead of whatever term means kind of landing on all 4 hooves simultaneously/awkwardly and then recovering.
We did a 4 stride line with cross rails and he nailed it both directions. Even better, he got a little bit excited coming out of the lines, but came instantly back to me when I half halted
While nothing is 100% yet, I have definitely noticed a shift towards where he comes back to his rider much faster than he used to.
In human improvement land, I have initiated my own training program. We have a gym at work that I never use because I exercise outside, thanks. But daylight is waning and they offer this core and upper body strength class that fits my work schedule and is free. I went Monday and learned that the fact I have ignored my core since abdominal surgery last December is something you will pay the piper for. My upper body actually did ok, but my whole abdomen hurts. Jon touched my ribs and I nearly punched him. Guess I need to ease back into that.
Have also started some really slow, lame jogging for cardio. My running goals are laughable but hopefully between all of it, I see some results.