At least, even more than usual.
For the past three or four weeks I’ve been working to be more consistent in my schedule for riding and conditioning Red. I try to get on and walk/trot/bend/over poles for anywhere between 20 and 40 minutes three times a week, with some rides being longer and more intense.
With every ride, I can feel Red becoming stronger. I can feel him learning and remembering how to carry himself, how to act at the mounting block, how to get his body over poles. I remember three years ago when he couldn’t walk over a ground pole without catching his toes on it. Thursday night we were trotting over 4 trot poles in a row without a problem, and cantering over a little flower box (sometimes it was just a pole on the ground to Red, sometimes it was a jump!).
"Grandma" SueAnn, a lovely woman at the barn whose horse, Stormy, is Red’s best bud, thinks that as I continue to condition Red, I could look to point him over cross rails as fun distractions. There’s a hunter/jumper show in January, and SueAnn thinks Red and I should go and compete in a cross rails class and some flat classes. SueAnn saw Red moving with impulsion from behind and steady tempos in his gaits, which she hadn’t seen from him yet.
Red is really growing and developing, and so am I. I’m so grateful to have him in Lincoln with me, and that he’s still so sound to ride!