Hello friends, it’s Emma and I’m back for another blog post about my life as an equestrian! These past few months there has been quite a lack of riding due to snow and rain. Thankfully, in the past two weeks, I’ve been able to ride a lot more. Zip has been very well behaved for our rides which is uncommon for him when he’s had time off but I’m not complaining!
Last week we did mostly flatwork when I rode him which is just as simple as it sounds. Flatwork is working the horse on the flat meaning no jumping. Trotting is a lot of what we did for the first few days because it helps strengthen their muscles when they haven’t been working. Then we started working on the canter again, which is a faster gait and Zip was very good. He of course had his crazy moments but for being as out of shape as he was, I was very happy with how he acted. Flatwork is essential for any horse because it is the foundation to any riding discipline whether it be jumping or something completely different.
Late last week I was allowed to jump Zip a little bit. First we trotted a few small jumps to make sure he remembered where to put his feet. He hasn’t jumped consistently since the beginning of December, so I was a little worried to see how he would react but he was perfect! At the end of our lesson, I even got to canter him over a little jump which is usually when he gets a little extra energy but surprisingly he just jumped right over it without a care in the world so I was very happy with the progress we made.
All of that long and boring working to help strengthen Zip’s muscles led up to this week when we were finally allowed to start jumping bigger fences and putting together short jump courses. By Thursday we were jumping 2ft6 jumps and courses of around six jumps which is almost back to our normal 3ft jumps with eight to nine jump courses. In my lessons, we’re still being careful with Zip to make sure he doesn’t get sore since he is still rusty.
As long as the weather continues to stay warm and not rainy, Zip and I will be starting up our competitions in 2-3 weeks which is very exciting! I got to bathe him a few days ago too, so he’s even starting to look like a show pony again! By the time my next blog post is up, I’m sure I’ll have competed a few times so I’ll be able to give a lot of updates, so keep an eye out for those. And remember, don’t do too much horsin’ around while I’m gone!