Riding log day 11

1/30/2020–snaffle, English saddle

It was foggy in town so I expected the same at the ranch. Much to my surprise, it was bright and sunny out there. Amazing what difference five miles and a change in elevation can make.

Mocha was grumpy about her chest when I groomed her–but that seemed to go away when I stopped and stretched her forelegs. I suspect she was a little sore from Monday’s work…well, she was full of herself that day and it was to be expected. Like Monday, we headed out for the loping/galloping ground for the best footing, transitioning from straight walk to walk serpentines. We worked walk and trot serpentines including counterbending, and she was focused and using herself well. A walk break, and then we did some two-tracking, followed by a set of canter serpentines. By this point she was pretty well warmed up so we had a good set of flying lead changes. Then we did the bowtie exercise at the trot. She’s settling in well at the trot now, coming onto the bit and working pretty consistently.

I was generous with the walk breaks and she was pretty decent about settling into them. We ended up with the zigzag trot coupled with haunches and forehand turns. Then more walk break, backing up in a figure 8, ending with four sets of canter/gallop, with walk breaks in between. She didn’t get herself as worked up as she did on Monday but it was also pretty clear that she wanted to end out with a run. Then she was a bit rushy riding in from her work area. We did stop for spin sets and they were okay. Not great, but okay. They do vary by day.

The other thing is that she clearly has a preferred snow depth to canter or extend into a gallop. 4-6 inches seems to be her preference. More and it’s hard work for her; less and there’s more slipping around or catching a hoof on frozen poop piles, with less cushioning if the ground is frozen.

She wasn’t quite as dripping with sweat as she had been on Monday, which is good. But I’m still contemplating clipping along her windpipe and chest. But I’ll have to see how the weather shakes out in the next couple of weeks. I’ve got a local bazaar next Friday-Saturday, then RadCon, then a Portland trip. Maybe I’ll do it after that–by then it will be the end of February and about time to do it if she isn’t shedding out anyway.

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