Thursday, April 8, 2021

Working on the Basics

Our weather has been gorgeous for early spring and I have been blissfully spending time outside gardening, tidying up the farm after winter, and most importantly riding.  

Cruz has been back under saddle three times so far.  The TRT young horse module was very helpful with winter ground training leading to seamlessly getting back into the saddle without a ground person.  I will do a separate post after I really have him going under saddle, but I have found this step by step progression of ground work that leads into the same exercises under saddle so helpful.  Anyway, he has been a rock to get on and off of, walks off quietly, yields the hind leg to turn to a stop, walks a bigger circle and halts from the seat on a straight line.  Next up is getting slightly less wobbly bigger walk circles and some steps of trot.  He feels much less gawkward than last fall but he still has that unbalanced super green horse feel.  Willing but weak.  I think he is going to be on 1-2 rides and 2-3 days in hand/long lining in my fields per week for the foreseeable future while he finishes growing.  I’d estimate he’s 200+ pounds heavier since last fall and 2 inches taller.  I think there is more to come, so we will be taking it pretty slowly this year.  I’d like to be walking him under saddle all over my property and doing a walk trot Intro test by late fall.  We’ll see.

Jet Set is doing marvelously.  So far so good on the stifle and transitioning back to working outside.  Lots of walk poles, working gaits in the dressage court, and emphasis on really correct basics.  Our winter work on improving his collectibility is really paying off with an increased ability to shift his balance back easily for transitions and much more functional working gaits.  Transitions are easy.  Leg yields are easy.  Figures and movements flow.  Now it’s just gradually expanding our repertoire outside and getting him more fit.  Right now I am leaning towards most of our training being in working gaits, think 80-90%, with splashes of collectibility exercises to improve the working gaits and movements.  I’m wondering if this might help take some pressure off his stifle and lead to a longer riding career.  His last stifle injection helped him, but nothing like the huge improvement from the first.  He is 18, so a reduced workload might be the smart thing to do.  I’m going to go with this plan for a month and see where we are, then set some show goals.  Again, we shall see.

Are you experiencing a beautiful spring and making plans or are you still trying to kick winter to the curb?


  1. This sounds like things are going well.

  2. It's already getting hot, but that's Texas and I'm happy for it. Just waiting for it to warm up a little more so the pool is an option...

    Glad to hear Jet is doing well with his injections. My pony is 22 this year and coming back from a year off because of hoof issues so I can relate. He may or may not be showing this year- it's a wait and see. I feel ya on this one.

    1. Yep, just have to see what the year holds, he owes me nothing. Enjoy your warmer weather!