We've been having some pretty good rides lately. He's been sticky and stiff going to the left, but warms up out of it. I usually have the chiro out every 12 weeks, but it's been about 15 weeks now, so he'll be getting adjusted tomorrow which always helps his stickiness. Our ride today was the best we've had in a long time. For the first time ever I wore spurs. I've never worn them in my life, and didn't even know how to put them on... Finn was SO responsive to leg yields, was so connected and forward in the trot, and for the first time ever I felt glimpses of a rocking horse canter. I wasn't flopping all around on his back, and was able to have a following hand (something I always struggle with in the canter). Finn was seeking contact and really using his hind end. He usually gets quick and llama-like in the canter, and he didn't at all. I also switched him back to the Myler Level 1 Dee, which apparently he loves now. I know that I need to strengthen my legs a whole lot more, but the spurs really helped me to cue him so much better. He was connected, forward, relaxed, and happy our entire ride. We had no llama moments, and we had no disagreements about what we were going to do. Spurs are probably not something I'd use all the time, but definitely something I'd use every now and then.
Adventures in turnout...and spurs
For Finn's last month at the barn I thought it would be a good idea to do 24 hour turnout. A few of his buds stay out in the paddock overnight, and the barn manager is very organized about feeding them (manager and helpers stand with ponies until they've finished their meals, so everyone gets their own dinner/supplements and there are no fights). I thought he would love it! Well, apparently he doesn't understand that nighttime is for sleeping. He literally runs/moves around the entire time he is out. I just know that he is not laying down or napping. The other afternoon when I brought him in to ride him he was snoozing on the crossties (usually a dancing mess), and then he was dead quiet during our ride. When I went to put him back outside he looked longingly at his stall, and unwillingly went back outside. Today when I brought him in to ride he was exhausted. We got a quick ride in, worked on a few dressage tests, and then I told the barn manager that he'll have to come in at night. He was SO excited to see his stall, and was nickering like crazy at me. Apparently he is just too much of a prince to be turned out all the time. I also think I like him coming in at night better because I can put his hock boots on, and I know he's totally safe inside.