Party Girl continues to develop rapidly, even within the careful confines of re-starting her after 5 years of being turned out.
She’s given me a couple of ‘silly filly’ moments, you’ll be glad to know (because, frankly, it’s annoying to read training blogs where everything is just a perfect world of unicorn poots and rainbows), that were resolved with 5 minutes of forward longeing. These moments generally consist of her stating, “I’ve lived on my right shoulder for 10 years and that’s where I’m staying, so there!” But after a quick longe to rev up her RPMs, she is then glorious, soft and fluid. Our work sessions now include riding quite a bit of forward and back within the gaits on both a circle and down the long side to help add strength and balance.
And I find that trotting over the poles just before asking for a canter is giving her lovely departs that are no longer above the bit as she is really beginning to use herself behind. It also keeps her calm and her back supple and swinging.
We continue our hill walking days in the field at least once a week and besides the obvious benefit for her brain to get out of the arena, I’m pretty sure I’m feeling an added boost in her gaits from the fitness that cross-training provides. Party has gone from being a ‘pretty mover,’ to a ‘dynamic mover,’ and that’s rather exciting. She’s definitely stronger behind. Baby’s got back!