October 17, 2010

Willy Feels Better

I am happy to report that Willy was doing much better today!  His nose was dry and he only coughed a couple times during the trot.  He's definitely getting very fuzzy.  His girth area had obviously dried funny from the previous ride, not sure if that was saturday or another day since I don't know his schedule.  It felt good to groom him and tack him up today.  His mane was nice and silky, no knots!

I mounted using the mounting block since I was wearing jeans and they are more restrictive than my jodphurs.  I figured it would be nice to just mount up easy today.  I worked him around the main ring, on the outside at first doing some posting trot.  Then I decided to go into the arena and play around in there, even though the big arena is sloped rather than graded flat.

No snot!  He feels much better!
I tried one gate and couldn't seem to get Willy in the position I wanted him to so I could reach the latch easily.  The second gate I tried I could reach fine but could not move the darn thing to save my life.  I feel silly on horseback getting into position for opening a gate but I feel even more so when the horse is in position and I can't open it!  Third times a charm, I finally got Willy where I needed him to be and opened the third and final gate.  I swung it open but didn't pay much attention to the overhead bar and sort of banged my head on it.  Yet another reason it's good to wear a helmet while riding!!

I started Willy on a trotting circle which he did quite well, including a figure eight where he didn't try to break his gait.  Then I did some walking serpentines down the arena.  Willy seems a bit more stiff turning in the right direction so I worked a little bit on some flexion movements with his neck and tight circles.  He didn't seem to like it so much but the poor boy needs to get more flexible! 

We cantered a few times with no goal in mind but to have the wind brush by.  I want to canter him more and work on my seat in the canter, it's my favorite gait since it's like a rocking horse or a playground swing.  The motion is so perfect!  I just wish I could see what it was like with a collected horse, Willy is stiff in most of his gaits so even though it's fun I'm sure it's more luxurious in a well collected horse.

After the shorter ride, since I was planning on meeting some friends for drinks later, I groomed him down.  His girth area was still wet so I took him to the arena with me and set him loose while I scooped out the poop piles.  He'd only gone once in the ring but the piles left from how many days from the other riders were still there so I decided to get all of those.  There are signs all over that in the tacking up areas and arenas all riders need to clean up after their horse.  It doesn't seem that many of them do since most times there are several piles in the indoor or outdoor arena when I arrive. 

Once I was done I brushed down the sweaty areas on Willy since he was now all dried off.  I took him back to his pen where his buddy Two Socks awaited.  I gave them both carrots and told Willy he was a sweet horse; oh yeah, you too Two Socks.  It was a nice ride but too short, I'll have to take my usual amount of time next week and get my full Willy, aka Sir William, fix.  I think he should be called Sir William, it has a very noble sound to it, plus my friends always make comments about Willy and Willy getting fuzzy. 
Apparently I know too many people who have their minds in the gutter!

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