31.1.13

Waiting for spring

Because spring should be just around the corner, but it certainly does not look like it, I've decided to bring colour to my riding anyway. Both of my boys were wearing very colourful matching bandages and saddle pads!

Vallu had a light green pair on today; the saddle pad has a darker green piping around it, making it look simple and elegant even if it was a more unusual colour! The bandages are from the brand Jumper and the saddle pad is from Pacific Rim International. The overreach boots are from Horze.

Basse had a pale yellow set on today. The bandages are from Horze and the yellow pad is also from there, but this is a really old set so probably cannot be found anywhere! Basse is also wearing a pair of Eskadron sheepskin lined overreach boots.

Yesterday all of our horses had a day off to rest, so today's riding mainly consisted of easy exercises to get the horses to become more flexible and to be in a low and round shape to get them working over and through their backs. Both Vallu and Basse were warmed up  with shoulder-in and leg yield in walk to get them to flex through their body properly. Shoulder-in improves the horses because it will strenghten the topline muscles and improve contact by the horse stretching to the bit. This stretching to the bit on the outside is where the rider can then regulate collection and tempo as well as angle, giving the rider better control of the horse. Leg yield also has lots of of benefits, and is a very good warming up technique. The legs must move away from the body and towards the body, making many muscles wake up and gets the horses' joints working better. Leg yield also teaches the horse to move away from the rider's leg, giving the rider control over the horse's haunches and gets the horse to listen to the rider better.

Left: shoulder-in on the right rein. Right: leg yield to the left

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