Two nice days in a row and the riding was fine

I can’t remember the last time we had two spectacular riding days in a row. The ice is gone, the trails aren’t completely under water and the sun was out.

Freedom is much improved. Yesterday I worked him in our local ring (the footing was surprisingly good) and although he felt a tad short on the left-hand it was subtle and not bothering him. I really only noticed it on circles to the left.

I was grateful to have the ring. After so much time off I needed the security of an enclosed space. Freedom felt good and showed it. In fact I “bitted” him up a bit to give me the upper hand. I tried out a gag bit that I bought over the winter. It has the quarter moon mouthpiece that Freedom likes. I used it with two reins: one as a straight snaffle, one when I needed to rein in his exuberance.

Today we went for a long hack with some friends. I was worried that if it wasn’t the tail end of an abscess he would be lame. Luckily he was fine so I don’t think it was a strain. We were out for a couple of hours — mostly we walked but we did some trotting and jumping up into the air too. Once again I was glad to have the gag bit.

I like the long walks for conditioning. Ideally, I’d spend the next week or so walking and doing hill work. I hope the weather and my work schedule cooperate It’s hard to believe that we’ll be hunting April 19th. This is the first spring where we have started legging up so late.

Freedom will be fine. He’s the easiest horse ever to get fit. I, on the other hand, need some help. My riding muscles have been under utilized. The thought of galloping in half seat for long stretches makes my knees weak. Heck, just riding for 2 1/2 hours today left my legs aching.

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