Along with Nadia, Dee has also come back into full-time work, and it’s so exciting to be able to observe your progression in ways that might traditionally fall outside the box.
🌷 It used to be that if Dee had any significant amount of time off (and I would really judge this to be a number of days rather than weeks) I would reconcile myself to the fact that we would probably be on the ground for a day or two before we resumed ridden work. That’s not the case anymore. We can start with a little bit of ground-work and then we are away.
🌷 Our daily routines that included ridden work (sometimes I just work in hand) mostly always included a pre-flight check of at least a few minutes of groundwork. Again, something that’s no longer a pre-requisite. I can jump on and have an attentive, ready-to-go partner rather than need to establish things on the ground first.
🌷 Our canter work is coming together! This is something that I really haven’t rushed. At 17 +hh Dee took a while to grow into his body (I think he’s really only just starting to fill out!) and the progressing strengthening has been really important. I still don’t ask for him to sustain canter, but the transitions are getting better and when we come back to trot, it’s no longer as influenced as it was previously (he used to get a bit rushed in trot after a canter but he’s more relaxed within it now).
🌷 The other day riding, Dee did a ginormous spook, causing me to lose a stirrup and him to frolic for a couple of meters. It was fair play- a hawk lifted off from the side of the arena complete with something he captured and it gave us both a shock! The best part though was the fact that both of us immediately got back to it. No holding on. No avoiding that end of the arena, or anticipatory spooking (from either of us). It was a moment that passed and now it was done. Magic! This too is different from a few months back.
The hidden wins and the not-so-glamourous progressions! Such a clever pony.