Sunday, April 12, 2009
Our Spring Gaiting Hillwork
I've really enjoyed GreyHorseMatters blog entries on conditioning horses after winter. I work on this mainly with John as Montana's work stays pretty constant through the winter.
John's gaiting is smooth these days, and his tendency to pace has largely disappeared (for the time being, knock wood). But he needs strength training and to lose a few pounds so we are doing roadwork.
In this video you see my favorite gentle hill, on the road near the barn, and a favorite pastime for Johnny and me in the spring: gaiting hillwork.
He is not easily bored outdoors so he doesn't mind repetitions; we go up and down this hill maybe 3-5 times in a ride.
His gait when at its smoothest should be 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4, all beats perfectly equal in time. If you listen carefully to this set, you will hear him start out right, get a little pacey, correct, slope into a little paciness, then correct again.
I like the ways his ears are forward and he is checking everything out: that's my trail scout Johnnie!! We startled a few ducks and a plastic bag on this trip. John found them stimulating but not unnerving.