Taking It Easy

I’ve posted lately about Husky being short, hollow in the back and throwing his nose out at the trot. It’s my automatic reaction to want to fix this by get him to relax his head down and keeping him in a nice frame. But I’ve realized that it really doesn’t matter right now if Husky prefers to go around with his nose in the air. We aren’t going to any more shows this summer (except for possibly one last schooling show in October), and so I don’t need to nag him. As long as he is listening, I don’t have to worry about how he looks right now. If he’s responsive to my aids, then that can be good enough.

I think he’s gotten sick of the same old routine of riding in the arena, working on looking pretty, jumping the same kinds of things and practicing lead changes. He perked up the other night when we went out on the trail, so Kimmie and I went out again last night. Cinnamon was in need of a couple of conditioning trot laps around the farm, and Husky…well, put it this way: he doesn’t have the problem of being too thin. So we warmed up for a few minutes in the arena and I literally focused on making myself not do anything beyond letting Husky know what speed and which direction. He was so poky, so I just worked on getting him to move his feet. I wasn’t too concerned because I knew that as soon as we got out on the trail he’d be much more forward.

And he was. He still went along with his head in the air but he was way more energetic, engaged and happy to move out. We trotted a lot and cantered a bit, too. Cantering on the trail is one of my favorite things to do. By the end of the second lap I could really tell that his shoulders had loosened up and he was reaching out more. I think he just needs a break from the routine. That’s cool; most of us do at one time or another. Eventually we’ll get back to working on our goals, but sometimes it’s okay to just have fun and forget about working all the time. You know that saying, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy?” It’s true for horses, too. And after all, the whole reason to ride is because it’s fun!

Tomorrow we have a lesson and we’re going to do cross-country! I literally cannot wait. I love cross-country. It combines cantering on the trails with jumping – two of my favorite things! Plus, it’ll be another way to break up the routine and do something fun.

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