Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter is back!

Well the big freeze has hit us too! Over the weekend temperatures dropped to 14 degrees during the day and Sunday night was down to 4 degrees! Over at Perisher it snowed! We are in summer people, normally we are sweltering in shorts and singlet tops at Christmas time, lying around until the evenings because it is too hot to even breath! They say things will be warming up soon - hope so I had to pull out winter rugs again!

Saturday I had to work and Christmas shop. I was exhausted when I got home so Sam got the day off. Sunday was horrid weather - thunderstorms rolled on through at hourly intervals and the wind was horrible. I tried to brave the conditions in the afternoon racing out between storms but Sam would not have a bar of it. He was up on his toes and monsters lurked in the long grass, behind trees and who knows where else! I thought I would stay in the arena area, just at a walk do some suppeling exercises but this just made matters worse. I ended up getting off and taking him back to his paddock. Walking over there the rain started again and he was trying to hide his face out of it - Sam really is the biggest princess ever!

Monday was still cold and windy and I was just too tired to play with the horses so they got an early dinner and I went to bed early.

This afternoon we rode. I changed things today. I know I have said it before in the past. WARM UP is soooooo important. Especially with a horse who takes a good 20min to warm up and start being able to work. Today we spent 10min in the walk, suppeling, moving off the leg, stretching down. Halt, walk, walk, halt. We moved up to the trot. The walk, trot transition is usually horrible, a huge jump in the air instead of using his hind end. Today the first transition to trot wasn't too bad. I didn't correct him because I could feel that he did try and use his hind end. In the trot I just asked once again for bend around the inside leg, changing the rein a lot, small circles, big circles. After a while he started to really focus and start to show some rhythm.

Back to walk and he really stretched down and stepped out. I would be very happy with that walk in a dressage test. After a bit I picked up the contact and we worked on some walk, trot, walk transitions. These were quite good, especially the walk, trot.

We moved up to canter and after a warm up with going forward in the canter I thought I would have a go at these trot, canter transitions. Quite a few were a disaster but I really concentrated each time so I could change the way I asked each time until I figured it out. We got two really good ones so I stopped there. Back to a walk. Once again it was big and forward with stretching down.

I thought I would have a go at the trot, canter transitions the other directions. Walk, trot transition perfect. Trot was lovely. So lovely I ended there instead.

I went to get Poppy to take her for her 20min trot exercising off Sam. We started in the back paddock and trotted around for 10min. Poppy started lag so i thought we would have a go at going across the road into the reserve. We just got there when Megan my neighbour came up the lane way on Gundy, leading her new horse Cooper. Well she is trialing Copper. He is a little Quarter Horse Gruella in colour. About 14.2hh, 5yo. He really hasn't done much and injured his knee about 2 years ago. It is huge but seems sound. Vets have checked him out and say he is good to go. His hind quarters aren't very nice but he has a lovely face.

After having a chat (as we girls like to do) I showed Megan the tracks hubby and I had mowed into the side of the hill in the reserve. The grass is so high in there - over Poppy's head! With the fear of snakes and goannas the grass was just too long to ride through. I was so impressed with how both Sam and Poppy dealt with this. They both walked along happily with Megan and her two behind us. At the end we stopped and chatted some more and all the horses stood quietly, swishing their tails a the mozzies. All good ponies!!!!!!

So another go at riding everyday with the good weather!!!!!!


Kate said...

Glad you got in a ride - sounds very good - hope your weather holds so more riding can get done.

SprinklerBandit said...

Don't get cold!! I like reading about someone who is warm and happy when it's horrid and cold here.

Your place sounds great. Glad Sam and Poppy are so good for you.

Frizzle said...

Bbbrrrrr, winter blankets during the summer time?! That is insanity!
I, too, am a big, big believer in a solid warm-up. I always spend a good 10 to 15 minutes walking at the beginning of each ride; I feel that it's important to get all of those muscles woken up and limber (especially since the horse that I am riding now spends most of his day stuck in a stall -- boo!).