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Wizard Ride 153: SuperFan

June 28, 2010

Wizard and me

Thursday, 6/24/10

On Wednesday night, Wizard got a bath. His coat is glowing and soft, almost iridescent. He got his stitches out on Saturday and his head looks great.

On Thursday, we warmed up in the dressage arena and then took a few cross rails in the big arena. During our warmup, we continued our work with opening up his trot and pushing with his hind end. I asked for a big, forward trot across the diagonals and I got a few strides of a nice, swingy trot. I asked him to stretch with his neck, both low and in a neutral position. He was active with his mouth, chewing and chomping, but he was forward and willing. I’ve been thinking a lot about the chomping and trying to decide if it’s normal. He does it on the longe line and under saddle. He even does it if I am leading him somewhere in a bridle and he has something on his mind. The more distracted or tense he is, the more he chews. The more focused or relaxed he is, the less he chews.

It is so helpful to have somebody to take pictures of our rides from time to time (thanks, Mom!). It really highlights what has improved and where we have room for improvement.

Wizard and me

We trotted two trot poles a few times, and then I rode a line of two cross rails. Thursday was the first time I invited him to canter a jump. We trotted the first, then cantered the second. He took the line in five strides, which is wonderful because I saw a horse take it in six earlier that week. I want a big, open, willing canter because it means he is forward and responsive. I worked diligently on my releases, making sure he had plenty of rein since he has a big, round, reachy jump. Now that I see these photos, I realize that I need to close my hip angle and shorten my stirrups one or two holes over fences. And CLOSE my fingers!

Wizard and me

Wizard and me

After our ride, I hosed him off and stood him in front of the industrial-sized fans on the aisle of the barn. The fan is AWESOME for cooling him down, plus it gives us a nice little training opportunity to teach him a little patience. It is so nice to have a horse who knows how to stand quietly and chill out. And the huge fan helps things along :^)

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