Having an indoor arena is SUCH a blessing in this part of the country, but a roof and walls only does so much. Lately the temperatures have been plunging and we barely get a few days of double digit temps before they fall again. Between that and holiday chaos, it’s been frustrating trying to keep up with the horses and lessons! But I’m still at it, giving myself permission to do shorter rides or ride fewer horses on the really cold days. I’m hard on myself and get really down when I think about how relatively little I’ve been able to do the last few weeks, but I’m trying really hard to stay positive and give myself credit that I HAVE still been riding. Hopefully this winter will ease up a little, or maybe at least we can have an early spring? In the meantime, I’ve decided to take advantage of the “too cold to ride” days and try to catch up on everything I can at home so that when spring comes I can spend every beautiful minute of it in the barn!
So today the temperature did get into the 20’s, and with it came freezing rain that coated everything in a sheet of ice (again….). The main roads were ok and I have 4 wheel drive, so I made it out to the barn and got in a pretty good ride on Austin. My rides on him have been very irregular lately because in addition to the weather throwing my riding schedule off, I’ve also been using Austin a lot in lessons lately, so I’m just doing the best I can to keep his training progressing as the schedule allows. Today we did a lot of lateral work, he’s got leg yield and shoulder-in down really solid, and he’s got the idea for haunches-in and half pass but doesn’t hold them steadily for more than a few steps at a time, which has regressed a little from where he was a few months back, so I’m sure it’s strength related. We also did a bunch of trot-halt-trot, and he’s using his back end nicely to really sit in the transitions, and it’s starting to feel like some baby half steps aren’t too far away. The canter is definitely our biggest weakness still, and we did a little work with it today but by that point we were both already getting tired so I didn’t push it. I’m hoping to get to ride him a little more consistently the next few weeks, he has so much talent to be able to do what he does even with inconsistent work, I can’t wait to see what he can do as he develops even more strength and balance!
Here are a few pics from the ride today: