Today was absolutely beautiful. I didn't even need a jacket today. It has been a few days since I got to ride Woobie and rainy days at that! I thought for sure that he was going to be frisky and I was not disappointed! I walked out to his corral to get him and he spooked as soon as I came around the corner! I took him to the round pen and as soon as Pepper (our dog) came outside and barked at us, he spooked. I walked him over to the trailer to tack up and the wind blew and he spooked... are you sensing a pattern yet?
I groomed him up, picked his yucky muddy feet, tacked up and headed to the arena, prepared for the ride of my life.... The neighbor turned up his radio pretty loud! (I could near Johnny Cash sing "I walk the Line") Aaaaand Varro spooked. We did our customary walk around the arena and our other neighbors drove by aaaaaand yes, you guessed it, Varro spooked. UGH! This was going to be a tough ride.
I lead him to the mounting block and mumbled a quick "prayer" something about "please don't let the feed delivery truck arrive while I am riding" and "please don't start off bucking as I'm getting on, at least wait until I get my seat." As we are standing by the mounting block, Varro's head pops up into giraffe mode and I say to myself, "and away we go!"
I mounted up, Varro dropped his head and started his lazy walk around the arena, just like we ALWAYS do! Thank goodness for our routine! I was so very happy! We did our normal warm-up and then moved into some trot work. I was reading Karen's Dressage Blog this morning and got some good ideas. I tried her Square Pattern and it went quite well. I am going to add it to my regular routine and call it "Gator Squares." Gator Squares is a term used in the military. It means floating around in circles in an area waiting for further orders. I road down center line and tracked left at C. Then tracked left at E and right at B. I went down centerline and tracked right at C and repeated the pattern going the opposite direction. As I finished that, Varro decided he was done and threw a fit. A little crow hopping and tossing his head was about all the fit he could muster and it was over almost as soon as it began!
After the fit I knew I must continue and end on a good note! I did 10m figure 8s at a collected walk then crossed the diagonal at a free walk and did the same thing at the other end of the arena. I then did the ice cream cone pattern encouraging Varro to really power up his trot on the diagonals. Once we were both breathing pretty heavy, I let him do a "stretchy trot" for 2 circles at C, collected him up for a diagonal and then 2 "stretchy trots" at A. I let him slow then break into a walk without gathering the reins and walked around for a few minutes. All in all, good ride! I just LOVE my Woobie!!!