My day started early. Since Cortney couldn't get her trailer down the hill at her house due to slushsnow, she planned to ride down and have her husband drive some of the less easily packed items like a hay bag and bucket. I would meet her at a trailer accessible parking lot 2 miles from her house and we'd load up there.
|From the espresso stand's FB page|
So I met her at a bank, after she'd acquired coffee, 4 year old mare Reign in hand. We packed her things up, waited for her husband to come down too (he was held up by someone driving SUPER slowly down the hill)
|Gwyn's hay was decidedly the more delicious of the two, apparently|
|It's a nice property. And for sale if you have a couple million lying around...|
|See what I mean by nice? They have several all weather outdoor rings, and a cross country course and track.|
|Warm up poles|
We started over three ground poles to get our horses focused on their feet and realizing what we were focusing on today. Then we moved on to the first exercise that was built up over time. The goal was to learn where our horses wanted to drift and also to learn if they were going to speed demons *cough* GWYN.
I want to try these exercises at home to see if I can have her brain in one piece and get some better results. We did end each exercise with improvement in all the horses, so that was really nice though!
Next up was the triangle set up. I really liked this one for teaching bending and flexibility.
|We started with guide rails to encourage straightness to start.|
|This was Reign's second time at the clinic. She did really well for being 4!|
|They called it a bowtie. Drawing it out... it's an axolotl|
The outer edges of the poles are raised and the poles were marked in their center, where the average trot stride length would be. You can treat this as a circle and then treat it as a figure 8. The center of our exercise was a skinny pole flanked by two barrels.
In the video you can see me let go, and Gwyn magically lift her back, drop her head and balance. This wore her out. I'm setting it up at the barn.
Next up was this simple square. We basically did a clover leaf pattern in both directions, at the trot. Also difficult with those tight turns. You need to have a balanced trot.
Finally, we did a pattern with a set of cones on the ground. We very shallowly serpentined at the trot forward through the cones, then halted at the last cone and serpentined backing up. This was DIFFICULT! With Gwyn at least. My aids were likely too strong and she was overswinging her haunches rather than having a mild change. More things to practice!
I debuted a new running martingale that's MUCH faster to put on since it isn't a 5 point. I really like the gray color! Plus the running attachments clip on rather than buckle so I could theoretically not have to unbuckle my reins every god damn time I untack or lead her around.
|We were color coordinated in purple and teal. LOL|
With my new job, I'm thinking of clipping her like Reign and paying for the blanketing. Especially since the cold doesn't last as long as Michigan and if we continue our 3-4 hour conditioning trail rides, she'll feel better if she can cool down faster while on the trail.