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She's Not a Baby Anymore!

Early spring saw some immediate changes in how Ellie carried herself and our dressage work started to truly improve.  There had been times last year where flat work felt like a fight and I wondered to myself if she was ever going to just relax and listen to me haha.

Thankfully, as the title suggests, Ellie has suddenly grown up in front of my eyes.  We have had some really stellar lessons lately, where I feel like I am suddenly able to make things click.  We also had an incredibly frustrating dressage lesson a few weeks ago where Ellie was in rip-roaring peeing heat (not normal for her) and we worked through 45 minutes of her refusing to bend right.  So, ya know, as much as she is improving, she is still an opinionated redheaded mare!  ;-)

But, I have to give her credit because she is really working her little butt off for me!  Sadly, I had not been able to schedule in a jump lesson before our first three-phase, which led to me riding her ridiculously backward at a slow trot the entire …

Spring Conditioning!

So apparently posting for 30 days straight made me avoid my blog for almost two weeks!  LOL!  Not only was I tired of writing so much, life has been super busy.  Thankfully I have been able to stick with Dreamy's seven week conditioning schedule fairly well despite so many things going on.  She is coming along well and I am pleased with her progress so far.  If only the rest of the snow would melt and the rain would stop long enough for everything to dry up.  My riding "field" is still not quite ready for riding so I have been making use of the driveway and road...not the best situation, but it works!

It always bothers me when owners pull their horses out of that pasture in the spring after a winter off and don't bother to spend time legging up the horse.  Especially as horses age, they need active work to get back into riding/showing shape.  I try to be very diligent and realistic with my horses.  I write everything down and make a plan ahead of time. 

Week 1:  March 13 – 19
We spent the week walking for 20 minutes each day.  It was thrilling!  LOL!  I rode her six times, with one day off.

Week 2: March 20-26
We worked up to 30 minutes of walking.  She had one day off (it snowed!).  I added in hill work twice and a little bit of lateral work.  We really established some good contact practice...medium walk, working walk, free walk, etc.

Week 3: March 27 – April 2
We had three days off because of my responsibilities at work, but began trotting.  All were 30 minute rides walk/trot, one day of hills, and a little bit of canter (2-3 strides at a time).

Week 4: April 3 - 9
We had two days off, once from the rain and once because she got shoes!  All rides were 30-35 minutes walk/trot, small bits of canter (hard to do in a straight line in the driveway),

Week 5: April 10- 16
The plan is to ride five times, since I have had two nights of responsibilities at school.   We went to the beach on Sunday (YAY! Will post about that later...) and rode for an hour, mostly walking with some trot and one canter.  Monday was a good 45 minute walk/trot/lateral work ride.  The last two nights were too busy for riding, but I plan to ride Thursday through Saturday...adding in the canter as much as I can!  Hopefully the field footing will dry out so I can canter for real, not just in straight lines for a few strides in the driveway.  Oh what I would give to have a real ring and/or an indoor!  

Weeks 6 and 7 will be building up to an hour of walk/trot/canter.  My instructor's ring is almost ready to ride in, so I hope to have a lesson before the end of the month.  Next week is school vacation (YAY!!!!) so I hope to ride 6 days.

I started riding Reva a few weeks ago, but she had something going on with her teeth.  The vet was out this past Monday morning for spring shots and also floated Reva's teeth.  She should be all set to start riding now!  I hope to get much more consistent training with her and maybe show her this year.

So far, so good!  Shows are just around the corner......  :-D