|Fuzzy Chick after our ride|
I am planning on taking him on a trail ride with one of my old friends in a few weeks. I have been taking Lego out of the pasture ring and riding him in the open hay fields to get him used to not being confined. Usually he's really good, no problems. Every once in a while though I think he sees all the grass stretched out in front of him and remembers his turf course racing days and just flips out in excitement. He's getting better as I ask him to focus on smaller tasks while we walk and trot around to get used to things. If I keep his mind working (which isn't difficult to do...I am positive he wouldn't be able to walk and chew gum at the same time if he were human), he does much better.
I used my sweet yellow lab as a cone and made her sit in the middle of our riding area so I could do TONS of circles around her to work on Lego's bending and flexibility. After our warm up we probably did a large lap or so around the area in both directions at the trot then brought it in for about 5min each direction of 20-30-40meter cycles. I intermixed transitions as well. I tried to really focus on my own position to make sure I was being clear in asking for a bending horse. I have found that he really responds well to a balanced seat, keeping weight in the outside stirrup and staying up tall. Of course, all horses do, but I just wanted to include this in case a few years go by and I get another new OTTB and I forget that. ;)
I rode Chick as well around the farm...but he's so perfect I don't have to go in detail about it :)