Each spring, I’m ecstatic to be able to ride outside again. Don’t get me wrong, I’m spoiled by having access to not one, but two beautiful indoor arenas that make it possible for me to ride year-round — and I’m grateful for that, I truly am. But there’s just something all together different about riding outside and my horse thinks so too. The change in Miles is absolutely astounding and I need to do a better job of remembering that.
This is only my second spring with Mr. Miles and I don’t know that I’ve ever encountered a horse who is so attuned to the seasons. Seriously, my horse really might have SADS. He’s just a completely different horse outside. Ever since the weather broke and we’re steadily above freezing temperatures, I’ve taken every chance I have to ride outside. And you know what? My rides have been great. I start with a long and low warm-up, keeping my reins loose and focusing on asking for more forward and an exaggerated inside bend.
After we canter a bit in each direction, we settle down to work. Each day I try to work on different things: collection, lead changes, ground poles, circles; we do ALL THE THINGS. I always end with our big Hunter Under Saddle trot, starting with a more hunter-style trot that has more connection, and then onto AQHA-style, where I really ask Miles to stretch down and maintain a consistent pace without much contact. He loooooves to do his AQHA HUS trot — it’s really kind of cute. Too bad he’s a Thoroughbred 🙄