Today was a cold, cruddy, muddy day...BUT still a good day because I was able to spend time at the barn. Weather was cool, low 50's with spotty sunshine for minutes, down pouring of heavy rain intermittently.
I had to groom Lazarus for an extra long time while we waited in the barn for the rain to ease up a bit before starting our work. He was not in the mood for enjoying his grooming. His haunches were tight and ready to spring the whole time.
Below, I captured his anxious brat face when he does his nervous 'chewing' habit. We think it's in anticipation of 'what's to come??' to him, it was racing in the past. The chewing has gotten a lot better (ie; he doesn't always do it). The cross ties bring it out, standing there, getting groomed makes him act, "I'm ready, I'm reeeeeeeeeeaaaaady!! Let's go!!!"
Some days are more mild. Today, he was UP, which I fully expected being they've been in the paddock vs pasture due to muddy, wet weather. We try to preserve the pasture on days like today so it's even footing in the winter for the horses...the soft ground makes it easy to create holes and if it freezes that way, they have to deal with those obstacles all winter.
So today's lesson was lunging. Getting the energy OUT with lots of trotting, some cantering on each side, (correct leads hoorah!) more trotting and worked on his transitions. Walk to canter, back to walk. Walk to trot, reverse sides, trot to WHOA (stop), etc.
Starting to calm down and think. Once the 'willies' were out, we did more mental work where I had him turning, stopping and listening to me. He is able to concentrate much better after a good 15-25 minutes of nothing but trotting out and stretching and playing a bit.
Look at those clouds...sort of beautiful.
We worked on the lunge line for an hour, cooled down with me hand walking him around the big arena where he spooked a lot today. He was high energy today and I'm trying to get him more familiar in there for winter riding. After almost of year of using the round pen A LOT, he seems very comfortable in there, and now I have to spend more time with him in the large arena. I hand grazed him for a bit so he could enjoy some grass and back in the paddock for his afternoon feeding with his herd mates.
I meant to work on some stretching/pilates moves that I read about, but forgot!!! Has anyone done that with their horse? It's done from the ground, with treats and having your horse stretch down in between their legs, or 'hugging' you with their necks at their sides all to get the treat. Supposed to help with their neck, back, stomach muscles.
I'll have to save that for the next rainy day! :)