So the big man redeemed himself today after his day of crankiness yesterday.  He was definitely more pleasant to groom and to tack.  No ear pinning or tail swatting.  He even stood peacefully for the dousing with fly spray…the green heads made an early appearance this morning.  Ms. C and I did an extra lesson so that Ike would really have to work and she would be there to help me through any residual crabby ‘tude.  Was he perfect – heck no, but he put forth a better effort.

If you look at my arms, you can see me straining.  He was very heavy in my hands today and it took all my strength to put the lankiness into a presentable frame.  We spent most of the hour trotting, and I spent most of the ride half halting to keep his attention.  Straight lines, big circles, little circles, centerline turns all at the trot.  Maintain that rhythm and tempo.  Don’t let Ike flatten out.  Half Halt, again, and again.  I even had to give him a couple of swift kicks when he tried to suck back.  That got his attention!  He tried to sneak into a canter, but I shut that down.  Today was about re-establishing our trot and listening to Mom.

Since Ike is still not 100% through, he sometimes gets a bit of a head waggle at the trot.  I put my knuckles down on his withers, squeeze my fingers, and try my best to get more thrust from behind.  Once he is honest, the waggle ceases.  I’ve found that as he gets stronger, I don’t see it happening as often.  Sigh, the responsibility falls to me to keep him working over his topline.  The hard work is paying off as I think I see his topline starting to fill out.  Hard work it is.  It was already in the mid-80’s this morning and I was dripping wet when we were done.  I think this counts as both a cardio and strength workout, right?

Enjoy the rest of your Memorial Day.  Remember to thank those that have served and are currently serving so that we may have the freedom to enjoy our leisure time.


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