Today was one of those days where it really hit home why we have horses, and why we invest so much time and effort into them every single day no matter the weather or the day or the time. Vallu, Basse and Rama were all fantastic today, and once we were finished I felt better than I did three hours earlier when I started riding.
I rode Vallu today in a snaffle because he had a day off yesterday, where he went out in the paddock for four to five hours, and then he was walked in-hand for 15minutes at the end of the day. Normally after a day off Vallu is not the best to ride as he tends to be stiff because of the lack of exercise and jumpy due to the accumulation of energy. He is also pretty strong against my hand in a snaffle just because he is such a huge horse and you can really feel it when he is leaning on the bit. Today, however, he was fantastic. Light in the mouth, big bouncy trot and canter immediately, and best of all, he felt incredibly happy to be working! It felt as if he was smiling away underneath me. And thus we practised some advanced movements, such as piaffe and canter pirouettes. I did several collected trot - piaffe - collected trot transitions which are usually very difficult and today they were no problem! The canter pirouettes were also great, especially the ones to the right (his stronger and better side)
Whilst I was riding Vallu, Satu was riding Basse. Satu last rode Basse on Tuesday in a riding school lesson, then he had been hacked out in the snowy woods (the pictures below are from this) and also I had ridden him twice. Today he was super as well! Satu was able to work on some very lovely collected trot, where Basse was in a very nice and high neck position and Basse's poll was the highest point of the horse. The shoulder-ins and leg yields were good as well!
After these two boys were exercised, It was Ramazotti's turn. Rama had also had a day off yesterday, so he was bound to be a little fresh. I actually prefer it when a horse like Rama is a little fresh because it is very easy to harness that good energy and to get the horse to use it in a very beneficial way! I warmed up in a very simple style, on a long rein doing both trot and canter and big 20m circles just to get some of the stiffness away. Once Rama opened up, his movements became much bigger and the difference was massive. Although Rama was in a very poor muscle condition when we bought him, he has now gained a lot of mass and muscles, and it is now really starting to help him move better. I also did some flying changes with him because these really help him to focus on me when he is a bit fresh, as he prefers to look around and not focus on what we are doing. These are starting to become a little better too than what they were in the beginning. Once he was worked a bit, it was my mother's turn to get on and she rode very well and was incredibly brave.
All in all, today was a fabulous day and I am very much looking forward to more days like these!