I have been enjoying my vacation but we have hopes that someday the snow will thaw, the mud will dry up, and the sun will come out. With that in mind, I have started a little basic exercise program to get toned and limbered up.
We always start with the Kindergarten basics. Like, what shape is a circle? hint: both fit in a "round pen" but only one is acceptable. There are no extra points for creativity.
We start with the "starter bit". Yes, it's actually a pelham, but we only use it for it's big fat rubbery mouthpiece.
And side reins... This is my "Shhhhh I'm concentrating" face.
And we work on stuff like
What should you be doing when you are asked to "Whoa"?
a. slam on the brakes and face your trainer
b. drag to a stop, and then inch backwards one step at a time chomping on your bit
c. engage your hindquarters, ease promptly to a stop, stand square on the circle waiting for the command to walk off
d. I'm sorry, what was the question again?
Actually, I'm pretty good at this. After a few sessions, I get used to carrying myself in a proper frame again. I never forget the words, and I have nailed every walk canter transition. Yay me! After a few short session a week on the longe, I can graduate to mounted work where we can do more interesting stuff like bending and leg yielding and maybe some ground poles. I plan on being all tuned up and ready for March when we can maybe get OUTSIDE again.
Yes, I know that I am allowed to go outside on my own, but it has been kind of scary looking out there lately. The other day it was really really bright like the aliens were landing behind the barn or something, and I'm scared to go by myself. If someone goes with me I'll stay out there and explore. But it takes a more courage than I can muster to walk into the light alone. Plus, the arena sand is nice and soft and great for running and playing. The ground out back is hard and rough. A guy could twist an ankle out there! I'd rather just stand at the door and look.