Saturday, March 8, 2014

New saddle pad!

What could be more exciting? ;-) Well, lots of things, actually. I love the pad I got from Riding Warehouse, but was of course intrigued by the same pad with "ultra-cell" inserts, so I bought a Coolback pad with the inserts. My arena has finally dried out enough that I could ride in it (although there's still a big puddle at one end) so today I did!

Here's Mac's new pad.

As eager as I am to try the hackamore again, I thought that it is better to be safe than sorry and since I haven't ridden in two weeks, I'd go for the safer bet of doing a bit of ground work first and then riding in the snaffle. Ground work was good, we did about 15 minutes of checking in with walk and trot circles, figure eights (love that exercise - thanks to Bryan Neubert for teaching it), head lowering, backing, and me asking Mac to just look to one side and then the other with just a suggestion of movement from the lead rope (while I was standing facing him).

Got on and had the usual warm up with circles and moving the haunches and then the shoulders, then moved into the trot. For some reason, Mac really wanted to walk through the big puddle at the end of the arena. We did it once, but then I had to actually pull him away from it after that!

Did some trot circles, some shoulder in to haunches in back and forth, had some great canter work, trotted some cavaletti (and after our SI/HI, he was so supple that we could really to a narrow turn in a balanced fashion - fun!), and finished with some nice transitions. It was a surprisingly nice ride - I was prepared for some antics, but he was perfectly behaved. Could be because it was pretty warm today and he's shedding his winter coat so didn't want to act goofy.

Or, it could be my new saddle pad!

Maybe I'll be brave and try the hackamore tomorrow.

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