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Wizard Ride 281: The Bends

September 15, 2011

The gallop is a four-beat gait

Wednesday, 9/14/11

The weather was hot and sunny, but it cooled down considerably by the time I rode Wizard. Kris and Sunny accompanied us in the big outdoor arena under the lights, on account of these short days! They really sneak up on me this time of year.

The footing was spectacular- just the right amount of moisture, and newly harrowed. Kris and I walked (and talked!) for a good long time before working our horses. I asked for some leg yields and halts before our trot work. At the trot, we did three 20-meter circles in each direction at three different spots in the arena, sort of like a snowman shape. Then, we worked on transitions, walking for a few steps, then trotting, then a slow trot, then a bigger trot, then a walk, etc.

I set up a little series of trot poles- two set up in a regular straight line, and four fanned out so that they were small steps on the left side and very large steps on the right side. When we approached them on a bend, we hit the center perfectly, but if Wizard bobbled, he hit them either long or short. He handled them really well. After a walking break while we watched Kris and Sunny doing their canter work (they’re doing great!), we did our own canter work. I asked for the canter from the walk on both leads. We got a decent one on the left lead and two wrong leads before the correct lead to the right. But Wizard’s canter was really nice. His tempo was fantastic, and he was not getting behind the bit- he was taking contact better. We did small circles in each corner in each direction.

We trotted the fanned trot poles one more time, and then approached a brand new obstacle for Wizard… hay bales! He jumped them beautifully.

Kris and I cooled the horses out, and put them to bed. We were in the saddle for almost an hour and a half, but a lot of it was walking. The breaks really seemed to keep Wizard calm. It was a really nice ride.

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