Hill Work

Fifty degrees in February!  There was no way I was going to ride indoors.  I wanted to ride in the large bottom ring but someone was in there jumping and it wasn’t pretty, so I thought I would leave them alone and work in the top ring.  But the top ring is very small and PJ was being sluggish, so I thought it would be safe to go out on the front hill.

We get out there and PJ was very looky and hyper.  I wanted to trot serpentines up and down the hill but when I went down, PJ got all big and shook his head and acted like he was going to do something stupid.  Instead I walked down and trotted up.  Then when we got to the end of the ridge we trotted all of the way back up.  We repeated this a couple of times but I still couldn’t get PJ’s attention.  I decided to just go with it and try trotting down.  He had such a hard time that he had to concentrate a little bit.  I didn’t know a horse could twist in so many directions.  His hind end went right, his shoulders left, and his head went in a totally different direction.  I just tried to keep him from rushing down the hill without pulling on his mouth (not so easy when inside I’m panicking that he’s going to take off).   We ended up doing an entire serpentine to the end of the ridge and then we trotted back up.

When we got to the driveway, the across-the-street neighbor’s kid was coming on her pony for  a lesson.  We followed them back to the barn and back to the bottom ring.  Barbara was there and she suggested we trot up and down the hill by the ring.  That was much better because he wasn’t distracted by an unfamiliar place.  But boy did he get tired quickly!  The downhill was especially difficult for him.  We cooled out in the ring.

Although I think today was good for a lot of things: me confidence, him having to work hills (good for stifles), I also think it was bad because I couldn’t stop him from twisting and leaning.  Tomorrow it’s supposed to snow, so no barn.  But maybe Sunday I’ll try to ride in the ring and get what we got on Thursday.  If not, I have a lesson on Tuesday and Barbara can fix him!

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