My ride last night was pretty low-key because I have a standing date with my mom & sister on Tuesday nights, meaning I have to hustle at the barn. Casey and I had a really nice warm-up where she was very cooperative even though there were cows in the field right next to the arena. As a side note, what the heck is up with the seemingly horse-shared hatred of cows? I think of them as being very similar animals, but all the horses at our barn despise the cows. The cows could care less.
|Jumping from an angle|
|She's starting to jump rounder over little things|
After our easy warm-up we popped over some jumps. The jumps were all set at different heights and angles, allowing us to work on some particular skills. Since the jumps were so small (some were a foot, others 2 feet) we were able to practice our striding on awkward lines and our rollbacks without putting too much stress on Casey's joints. It was fun to just dink around over little things and Casey was spectacularly behaved. Her usual MO is to rush small jumps and to be really strong and try to pull me to them, but yesterday she decided to listen to my half-halts and take my suggested distances, meaning we got some really nice lines (because believe it or not, I usually make better choices about distances than my pea-brained mare). My favorite line was a double bending line across the arena. Basically there were two small verticals on the two outside lines that were diagonal to each other, and in between there was an angled cavaletti. We got such nice distances to those jumps and Casey was jumping them slightly angled so the line flowed really smoothly. The highest jump that was set up was a skinny oxer that was probably only about 2'6" and we popped over that once just for fun, but mostly we just stuck with the little things.
|2'6"ish skinny oxer|
|Cute hind end|
|A little flat, but a nice distance|
Due to the change in time, after all of that it was still really bright outside, so Casey and I decided to cool down with a "trail" ride (aka walking along the road). The last time we tried this was during the summer and it was the incident where all of the horses came galloping up and Casey flipped her lid and nearly killed me... so I was a tad nervous. This might have passed onto my horse, or maybe she just had her own reasons for being nervous, but the beginning of the ride she was very wary and slightly jiggy underneath me. At the half-way point, however, she had mellowed out and was doing the long, swinging walk that horses do when they are relaxed. It was really fun! Since she proved that she won't kill me, we'll probably make that a regular event in our rides.
|Trail riding once again|