Apart from less sun, today wasn’t much different than yesterday. It was artic cold, the footing in the ring was dubious, and on top of that, Barbara had the flu, so my lesson was cancelled. I met my friend Maryann at the barn and we decided to take our chances and ride anyway.
Until I knew PJ wasn’t going to slip in the snow, we did a lot of walk work. There’s a lot you can do at the walk. We practiced walking down the quarterline, then doing a working turn on the haunches in the direction of our bend, switching bends as we started to walk forward, then leg yielding back down the quarterline, and repeating the exercise the other direction. This exercise helps the horse reach with his inside hind leg and solidifies the content with the outside rein. I also experimented with travers and renvers and shoulder in. We didn’t quite get it but this was the first time I had experimented with it.
I practiced a lot of sitting trot. It is not possible to sit the trot on a horse who is not on the bit with his back up. The snow helped PJ stay pushing from behind even though we were going slow, which helped keep me in the saddle.
I trusted the footing enough to try canter but I don’t think PJ did. We always have trouble picking up the canter, and today was no different. I had to really half-halt PJ for a few strides and then ask for the canter as I was sending him forward. It took a couple of tries to get it in each direction, but we did.
Maryann had a good ride too, and by the time we were done, we were both no longer so cold. With the impending snow, I was glad I got a complete (and successful) ride in.