The day started with an event at the barn, Stories of Triple Crown Winners, told by Sarah and brought to life by the relatives of these famous thoroughbreds that currently reside at the farm. Liam was only too happy to play his part, enjoying the attention, picture taking, and carrots as Sarah talked about War Admiral, Liam’s great-great-great-grandpa.
After being a charming ambassador for the thoroughbred racehorses, Liam was ready for a ride. It was a beautiful afternoon, not too warm, and very sunny. It was our third ride in the pelham, and I think we have both adjusted to it. We did a long walk on a loose rein, then I gathered up the reins and asked him to walk round and collected, into a soft contact. We did lots of circles of different sizes and some small figure eights. Then he gave me some beautiful trot work, remaining round and soft, and just very pleasant. It was the quality of work with a perfectly willing attitude that makes riding a pleasure. Then he gave me some of the best canter work I have ever gotten from him. Just like the walk and trot, it was round and balanced, and he stayed light in my hands. When he canters like this, it is so comfortable to ride! I couldn’t believe how effortless it was to sit up and relax into the movement. We cantered a relatively short time then took a walk break. He was puffing a little bit, either from the increased quality of work he was giving me, or from the strong sun that was beating down on us. We did a little more trot, then a little canter the other way, then another walk break. I could tell he was starting to get tired, he was still giving me 100% try and attention, but we were both getting hot so we walked out until he was breathing normally then I took him in for a bath and then out for a graze. I am so happy with our recent progress, I can’t wait to do it again tomorrow!
My plan is to continue with this bit for a few weeks and try to break a few bad habits we’ve developed as well as make a few new good habits (like moving off my leg instead of throwing his head up in the air… I forgot to mention we spent a little time on the haunches-in and it is much improved now that evading the bit is less of an option!), then I want to switch him back to a softer bit and see where we’re at. For today though, I couldn’t be happier 🙂