Rio got Monday off after the photo shoot (barn is closed on Mondays). I am sure he enjoyed being back home and relaxing in what are currently lush paddocks after the previous day’s excitement. It is SUCH a gorgeous time of the year at the barn, I wish it could be like this year round.
On Tuesday evening I headed out there for what is usually a light hack. I tend not to do much on Tuesdays, it is usually more of a stretching/limbering ride and I tend not topush him too hard. After his day of relaxation, I figure Rio probably isn’t in the mind set to be pushed too hard, plus one of my trainers usually rides him Wednesday and I don’t want him going into the training ride tired or sore.
Once I got on, I realized this Tuesday might be a bit different. He was bursting with energy, and obviously ready to get right to work. Although our hack was much longer and more intense then I had originally anticipated, I felt like it went really well! More energy meant more work in the canter, and although he was excited, I felt him listening intently and channeling that extra energy into the quality of our work.
He still occasionally wants to drop to the trot if I cue too heavily for him to shorten his stride with my reins, and simultaneously brace my legs. As long as I stay soft in my knees and don’t lock up as I take a feel, he is much more likely to stay soft in his back and shorten his step without breaking gait. I swear he can feel the second I shove my heels down and brace, and he calls it quits. Sometimes I start to feel frustration seeping in, but then I remind myself that this is HARD for him, and muscle takes time to develop. When I cue correctly, he is fabulous, but as he gets tired and I get tired, we both get a little sloppy.
I have a jump lesson tonight with trainer Julie and my barn mate Norm and his lovely grey Harvey. Joanne is also coming to watch and hang out, so fingers crossed she will take some media for y’all!
And just for fun, my Dad flew his small plane over the barn and took some fun aerial shots, enjoy!