After our AF lesson, I rode Vallu on Tuesday evening and he felt very tired. Not stiff or tight anywhere (which is very good!) but just incredibly tired. I did 20 minutes of walk, followed by 5 minutes of trot and then canter, and I had to make him go forwards so much that it was only fair to spend the rest of the week giving him time to come back to normal.
This meant that on Wednesday he got a day off, and got turned out for a bit, put on the horse walker as well as me hand walking and grazing him in the afternoon!
|Oh those views ♥︎|
On Thursday, we went for our first hack round the village since thanks to the appalling weather the bridle path was far too muddy to go on (as in one tiny misstep or spook and we would have fallen flat on our bums!) I was expecting a quiet hack since this is a tiny village and it was 10.30am, so not a rush hour time, but instead we had the pleasure of having to deal with massive tractors, two busses, vans, little children and prams, builders on top of roofs and hanging out of windows, and big tents in someone's garden (I have no idea why someone would want to have a tent outside in this weather!) Only one tiny spook from Vallu for a totally acceptable scary reason, and compared to how our hacking buddy, a 20 year old ex-hunter, reacted to the tents - as in he nearly refused to go forwards and Vallu just kept on walking calmly and looking at his friend like wtf are you doing that for, I'm very impressed!
And yes I did realise afterwards that a year ago I wouldn't have ever gone for a hack after a day off! Very happy :)
I still felt like Vallu deserved another light day instead of having to work properly, he got a session of pessoa lunging on Friday. I've never pessoa'd him before, he's only been lunged either without nothing or then with side reins. When Basse was young he got lunged in a pessoa a lot, but after that we just kind of stopped using it. But I do think this was quite a good change for Vallu, he was more than happy to work with it on, and the pessoa really encouraged him to put his head more down and work through his back better. When lunging with side reins, Vallu is very sneaky at keeping his back a bit tight and short and not fully relaxed, but he couldn't do that with this! I'll be very interested to see how the next time I lunge him, whether that be with nothing or with side reins, if there is a change in the way he works.
And tonight I get to ride him! Hopefully he'll be more up for it this time, otherwise I'll start to get worried. With the weather is still being unpredictable, thank god for the indoor so that we can carry on training without having to try to keep up with the typical British weather, you think it looks good and sunny and then within 5 minutes it'll be grey, wet and miserable. To all those who don't have an indoor and manage to continue riding no matter what the weather, I salute you.