Today was a fun day! Beth came to Ashland to teach so Danny and I did a ground pole lesson. It was good to be back to work. Although both Danny and I were tired! It's hard work being straight and round. ;)
We started the lesson with walking about 8 ground poles in a straight line. Beth had one side raised slightly but alternating. So Dan really had to sit and use his hocks. It was tough. He tried to come up with different evasions, but we eventually got it.
Then we did our trotting. We did the poles on the circle of death. And... we found... that I have to ride opposites. ;) Of course....
So when we are tracking right Dan tends to throw his haunches out. So Beth had me ride haunches in. But it's not really haunches in. Because he just is throwing them out, so by riding what feels like haunches in, I'm actually getting him straight. :) The other way she had me think about it was a bad crummy leg yield that was wrong. Ha! Kind of like leg yielding on the rail. It almost felt a bit like I was riding him on a slight diagonal, with his shoulders slightly out and his haunches slightly in. Or almost half passing. And again, still holding my hands steady and solid and using my legs and seat to drive him up into the bridle.
Then tracking left, it's the opposite. He tends to throw the shoulder out and the haunches in. So.... this way, I really need to keep my outside rein solid and steady and keep him straight and ride shoulder fore. So I need to use my outside leg at his shoulder to keep him from flinging laterally, but use my inside leg to push him back into the outside rein.
Sigh... all stuff I know.... or thought I knew... Although I have gotten my brain all twisted and my perception is off. I really did think he was straight when he was tracking to the right. But yep.. hard work! But a lot of fun. :) oh, and... when we did our third 5 minute trot.... he randomly started throwing his head and neighing this sad pitiful little lonely neigh. Hee hee. And looking towards the jump storage barn like there was someone there. But there wasn't. Maybe he has an invisible friend. :) Or more likely, Fleck neighed and he heard him.
When we were done I showed Beth the new trailer and then realized I didn't have any water for Dan. And the water was turned off because of the weather. So I threw the bareback pad on and we walked down to the water complex. It was frozen!! And frozen enough that I wasn't sure it was worth having Dan try to break the ice and risk slipping or cutting his leg. So we hacked to the lake. And wow!! That had a sheet of ice on the top over most of the lake!! I've never seen that there before. It was only a thin layer, and it broke really easily so Dan was able to drink. But still, it was impressive!