Arch Arch Arch

God, I love my horse.

I work a full-time job.  The hubs and I are still actively doing Insanity (Round 2, Month 2, Week 1... kill me).  And I'm still running, still playing soccer.  And still eating too much, it seems.  :)

But, between all this, I've found the time to increase my rides on Archie.  I'm crazy about him getting injured, so I've tried to do the conditioning stuff slowly.  I haven't even asked him to canter yet (but if he offers, I sure as hell accept).

So this is what it's been like, lately:  we started out with a fifteen minute walking warm up (only the beginning fraction of which was he allowed to be molasses.. then he had to pick up his freaking feet), a seven minute trot, a ten minute walk, another seven minute trot and a ten minute cool-down.  I don't know whether this should embarrass me, but we actually spent a couple weeks meandering towards the seven minutes of trot.  And I've tried to keep it interesting:  one rotation around the pasture will take us up and down the little "hill", while the next rotation will take us over the trot poles.  Maybe I'll toss in a crossrail.  Maybe he'll offer a canter and I'll let him stretch it out.  I discovered with this approach, this slow, methodical and insanely timed approach, that he was offering more forward and more stretch.  There were periods in the beginning of the trot that he would go searching for truffles while trying not to kick himself in the face.  And I would hold the buckle as I posted, letting him get round and down and long.

We're currently up to a ten minute walking warm-up (one minute of molasses, thanks), followed by a ten minute trot, a five minute walk, another ten trotting and a ten minute cool-down.  So, the ride is actually about ten minutes quicker.  If I ride him two days in a row, I give him the third day off.  Just for now, though, because we're totally on a schedule and I don't have much time to baby him.  A schedule, mind.  No definitive goals set yet.

I rode him last night and he had his feeters done yesterday morning.  Being the sensitive Thoroughbred that he is, he gets a little tenderfooted after the farrier visits.  And he'd just finished eating dinner and was munching on hay.  Inspired by the "Recovery" day that Shaun T. gives us in Insanity, I thought that I might make Wednesdays unofficially our slow and steady day.  So I spent thirty minutes just walking the bastard, without touching the reins.  I had a little stick in my hand that I'd pulled off a tree and I used that to keep my hands occupied.  We followed our same routines:  up and down the hill, around to the ground poles.  If he wasn't listening or wasn't responding to my leg, I very gently tapped him with the stick.  The one time he tried to dart out of the gate, though?  He got smacked hard.  He knew better.

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