There’s only one thing that could explain the following photo: Hudson snuck into the theater and saw Secretariat.
I bet he was the one kicking the back of my seat.
I can’t remember if this is before or after we broke into a canter. He’s asking me if we can hit the gas. He’d like to GO NOW. Preferably braced against the bit, so he has more room to reach forward with his shoulder, like Secretariat.
I’m telling you, he saw the movie.
Shaun graciously asked if I wanted to stop by the barn on the way home, so I didn’t have to double back to feed Happy Meals.
What is it about being at the barn that convinces one that all of humanity would be overjoyed to have the same opportunity?
I stuff the camera into Shaun’s hands, whip out my emergency riding breeches, and beg ask her if she would document the circle exercise for the blog. Of course she said yes. A lunatic stripping in the parking lot just stuffed a camera into her hands.
I am married to a very patient woman.
I practically jog Hudson out of his paddock, and do my best not to try her patience: I forego the time it takes to put on a saddle. Bareback pad: 5 seconds. Tacking up: 10 minutes. (I always drop something.)
Now that I have communicated a sense of extreme urgency to Hudson, I expect him to relax and walk in little circles.
What’s your problem? Hurry up and relax, dang it!
It’s likely you’ll all be scratching your heads because we can’t really tell what Jane is doing in the photos. But they do show the relaxation level you want. Eventually. (The horse should be close to snoring.)
Clearly, Hudson is not even remotely close to snoring. He’s annoyed, as evidenced by trying to get the bit on his molars. I picked a day he was loaded with rocket fuel and ambushed him with a relaxation exercise. Then I told him to HURRY UP and relax already. I finally got him to stop jigging, and am asking him to drop his head. Note the lack of resistance. (Not.)
He drops his head somewhat, and flexes a little more to the inside to follow the track of my (I know, I know: dropped) inside shoulder. The good news is you can see the outside of his ribcage bulging and he’s stepping nicely under himself in this photo. He’s stretching, albeit with resistance in his neck.
He got the idea quickly: I turned the back of my calf (softer) to the inside of his ribcage, and sort of massaged the spot where I wanted him to bend around. This is Hudson. If I had done it normally, we’d be zipping sideways across the arena.
Here we go, softer, lifting, and stretching. The outside is his sore side. He was adjusted two days earlier by the Chiro. When given the choice between keeping him on a perfect 6′ circle or keeping him relaxed and soft, I went with soft. Our circle became a little bigger. A tense horse is not going to stretch.
(I think I hit some common sense there. Send out an APB!)
He’s bending a little too well on our 8 foot circle. Haunches tracking to shoulder, nice stretch to the outside. The exercise should allow the haunches to track a little farther out than the shoulders.
All done, walking out of it. Good boy!
I hope this helped show we’re not talking some fancy move here, just a small circle asking the horse to bend a little through the ribcage to stretch out. It should be easy and fun.