This morning's demonstration of how Digby keeps the flies off of him after his hose down.
Digby has been a STAR lately. I cannot say it enough! He's been responsive, forward and happy to work. I've been walking 75% of our rides to build up strength in both of us, with 20% trotting and I throw in a few canter strides every here and there just to work on the "stay in front of my leg" game which we'll call 5% but it's probably less. I'm not sure I shouldn't be cantering yet since he's not all that fit but it's only a few strides so I don't worry about it too much. It helps the overall picture more than it hurts it. He's also one of those horses whose trot improves after you canter.
I've been working on our (he's in better shape than me!) strength and endurance. I've also been working on getting forward and straight. In order to get Digby straight, I actually do lateral work. I think it helps with straightness, plus it helps get him looser and more supple. He's a bit older and can be a touch stiff. I've been playing around with our leg yields and some turns on the forehand. Turns on the forehand has never been our strong point. He always wants to back up during it so it's always something I'm conscious of (less hand, more leg!) and working on. Any tips on this?
I did a bit of pole work this morning. The ring is mostly jumps with fill so I don't have a lot I can deconstruct but I set up two single poles plus a line of trotting poles. I like pole work because I find it keeps me honest about his gaits (ie: "Ok Becky, if this was a jump you were going towards, would you be straight, balanced, and have enough impulsion to make it over? Or are you crooked and just plodding along and likely to crash and burn?") versus just flat work. Plus it's helpful to build back his topline!
"Lemme just climb in there for an minute so you can put the AC on?"