Not being in possession of a personal form of transport, I elected to duck horsey chores whilst the snow hit us. We did get about a foot I think but it was book-ended by 24 hours of torrential wind and rain each side. Because of this, the boys spent the night stabled. They were drookit and miserable and their bodies needed a break. Two thumbs up for them, their stables were a breeze to muck out this morning :)
Owing to Fin's increased protests at being ignored when I work Quadi, I opted to work in the school. Plus no matter how much hacking we do, Quadi always runs out of puff in the school. It's sand and a lovely surface but (good) hard work.
I put out trotting poles down one side and a pole at the extreme ends of the other long side. The idea being that we would work on some lengthening and shortening of canter strides between the two.
Warming up, I could feel that he felt spooky and reluctant to go down the far end of the school. I wasn't going to have any of it and we worked down there until I had flexion and also he wasn't slowing down before the scary bits and scuttling past. I was rewarded with rhythm and softness...eventually!
Apart from a couple of attempts to bound through trotting poles at canter, he tackled them well and lifted his back. He did keep spooking at the jump wings flanking either side of the school, most annoying since they're always there.
I had to work very, very hard for a good contact. His head was up, then he leaned. It required very square and open shoulders from me, not easy with my left-side weakness, good leg aids and to STOP NAGGING with my hands. I did have a moment when I realised that if I stopped asking then he yielded. From that point I could use leg aids to correct any hollowing. Imagine that(!) Once I'd figured out my timing and feel trot work was much easier.
I didn't hang around too long before I started canter work. He was really spooky and lunged left and right going past the jump wings. So we returned to walk to work on some shoulder-in and maintaining some decorum!
I shan't be returning to the school except for in-hand work between now and our Perry Wood clinic. Despite having a good session, for the most part, I returned to the stables and all I could think of was what I did wrong.
Hopefully the weather and light will be kind to us tomorrow night for some hacking. And no more wintery weather please!