Last week ended up being a long, stressful week full of…nothing.
Temperatures topped out at around 10 degrees, and I couldn’t stand to stay longer at the barn than exactly how long it took to clean two stalls.
Saturday it was a tiny bit warmer and I felt brave enough to take one of my gloves off and take some photos. Every horse at the farm was out in the snow, which was really cool to see – although it was strange to have such a quiet barn!
I’m trying very hard to be content with taking time off. I know that there’s no way around it – riding when it’s 10 below is neither fun nor productive. And really, it’s not like we’re training for million dollar shows at the moment. Missing five days of training isn’t going to lose us anything. It’s still hard, though – especially since I get so much pleasure out of both riding and training. It affects my mood when I have to pick stalls and then dash.
It was “warm” last night – hovering right at freezing – so Robbye and I got to work! I wanted to let her move out without me to warm up but was too lazy to grab my longeing equipment, so I decided to try free longeing. The results were interesting – her good way (to the right) she was very obedient and stayed on her normal ~20m circle. We did some transitions and she was great. The other direction, which is much harder for her, she refused to stay on the normal longe circle. Instead, she’d race across a short diagonal and try to change directions. I apparently need to practice steering with my body and words, since I really couldn’t get her to stay on the circle. But when I got her to stay going to the left once around, I decided to stop for a second. I put her side reins on a loose setting and sent her back out to longe herself. Interesting results again – she was much less willing to carry herself than when she longes on a line. I wonder why that is…
Anyway, she and I got quite a workout doing the free-longeing. It’s something I definitely want to continue practicing. Maybe I’ll add jumps next time.
I did hop on for a very short ride. She was obedient, but much less forward than she had been with me on the ground. I’m not sure why that is, but I try to be mindful of what Michele told me – Robbye is more sensitive than what we usually give her credit for. If I’m bouncing, posting slightly out of rhythm, stopping her with my seat or my hands or my legs…she’s going to feel it and react.
Overall it was a great workout. I started learning something new and got a chance to be introspective about my position, and she got a chance to practice her frame and carriage without me interfering.