Fin and I are participating in a clinic this weekend.
We had a few inches of rain dumped on us last weekend, and just as the arena was starting to dry out a second round of rain came through, so things are a bit soggy. And by soggy, I mean I may have seen a snorkel or two at the barn.
However, the arena has an excellent base and was very rideable. Just wet.
So we had our first ride today.
It was good. Fin was a little up and never quite relaxed and stretched into the contact, but we had some really good moments—particularly some collected walk entirely off the seat and with a few strides of self carriage in it as well.
Fin also proved, once again, just how responsive he is and how willing to try.
And for the record, he marched around happily in the mud and puddles at the walk, and practically floated through them at the trot. This is the horse who thinks he would rather die than go through water on a trail ride. Apparently, it’s not water that he objects to. It’s other places’ water. It’s not like our water and must be shunned.
Just for fun, I pulled a screen shot of the trot off the video to compare to a screen shot from our first show last year. The top is from today’s video (sorry about the quality—the video is in hidef, so I’m not sure why it’s showing up so poorly on my computer) and the bottom from last year:
Even allowing for the extra impulsion he was offering because of the mud, look at how much his hind end has improved.
Some of that is that (despite what that top picture might suggest) I have gotten much better about opening up my torso and sitting back, meaning I am using my core better and riding with a much better base. I am also much more comfortable riding his more expressive gaits, where last spring I was shutting them down entirely. I still have a ways to go on both of these fronts, but there is definite progress.
The other factor is that he’s just all around stronger. Even with my trainer last spring he was not reaching this far underneath himself or able to sustain any sort of impulsion.
I’ve been feeling/seeing the difference progressively over the past year, but this is the first time I put some pictures/videos side by side. I’m pretty happy with what the comparison shows!
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