Riding in the Winter pays off
Snow has gone off the mountain for over a week now, hot weather is here and I had my first lesson of the season. My horse remembered the drill, I hook up the trailer, he runs around the paddock and hides in the corner until it's inevitable we're going no matter what. My coach was impressed that I worked on some exercises throughout the winter and perfected them, she was not impressed however, that my husband didn't come with his horse (he went riding his Harley through the canyon instead). She was quite easy on me, we just worked on leveling out transitions, no 2 point, no stirrupless work, she says she can tell I have been doing that at home, my seat is deep, good leg position, no need for it during a lesson (ok I am an apple polisher, I practise my butt off doing that grunt riding at home). She even brushed my horse while I put away my tack, yup, I am the favorite one now! Hubby is coming with me on Wednesday for the next lesson, I have a sneaking suspicion someone will be dropping his irons and sweating, muahahaha!!! Anyone else starting lessons again after the winter? Let's hear about it!
I find I am much happier riding year round, as is my horse. Keeps him from losing his marbles as he enjoys being ridden and not being left alone. He isn't herd sour and appreciates his herd but likes a change of pace.
I always rode through the winter, I always had a coach but this one is different, I waited 20 years to start with her, she was always booked up and I would start riding with someone else. Finally 3 years ago, I met up with her at a show and she had openings, man what a difference! She even gives me exercises to do on the trail that are actually fun but so great for the horse, I am kind in awe of her, and this lady has not ridden in 25 years, amazing!
I really enjoy my winter riding even if the conditions aren't always ideal. It really separates the women from the girls. I still remember the day Hawk and I rode in a sideways snowstorm. The two of us had our heads cocked to the side avoiding the nasty, huge flakes and I think we we both thinking we must be a little nuts. But, it's one of those priceless memories only you and your trusted partner can share.
Sorry, I drifted a little off but I do agree that if you continue to work in the winter months your horse is better prepared for the summer. My horses are always in pretty good shape physically and mentally because of it. Much success with all of your future lessons and training this coming summer!
My wild winter of horse-eating monsters and spontaneous airs above ground have made my seat amazing. I could be a rodeo star. My standards have also been lowered to the point where I feel like we're Grand Prix riders every time we canter without having to escape a lethal-looking shadow or table half-way through, which is a much better feeling than being obsessed with perfecting our half-pass or whatever. May is when I love my horse the most - when everything feels like a victory as long as it isn't a near-death experience.
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