Well, yesterday was Wednesday, so of course that means today is Lesson Recap day.
To begin with, Gringo's new blanket liner came in over the weekend so I was finally able to get out and try it on him. It's very similar to the blanket liners I love from Schneider's Tack (see the Adjusta-Fit Nylon liners ... they are AMAZING) but this liner is from Chick's Saddlery. The only reason why I ordered from Chicks was I already ordering some hay nets for the MIL from there (they were cheaper then through Dover). Needless to say, the blanket fits perfectly and secures nicely with surcingles and leg straps.
Gringo is still floating around in just his heavyweight Masta. This liner will most likely be used under his Centaur sheet as a midweight. If needed, I guess I can always add it to his heavyweight ... but then it would be an extra-heavyweight blanket (and usually horses are inside if its that cold, even the pasture boarded horses).
Now, on to Gus.
We had a really nice lesson. Started off on the lunge, as per our usual. He was very sluggish and lazy to get going, not sure if it was the cold weather or just him being him. But, he was moving evenly and that's all that matters.
Under saddle work consisted of shoulder stretches, with a 6-8m circle thrown in at either E or B. We really, really worked on bending on those small circles. Along with that, Gus had to maintain an inside bend during the entire exercise (or at least looking to the inside). He did fairly well with this as time progressed ...
Trot work consisted of basically working on serpentines, with Gus really, truly bending around my inside leg - whichever "leg" was on the "inside". We had some nice moments in our trot work. Nothing fabulous but then, I'm not expecting that when both him and I are outta shape.
Canter work began with us on the right lead (the harder of the two leads). We decided to work on counter-canter last night and it went fairly well. Going to the right, the 1-loop serpentines were very, very shallow - think like a stride or two off the rail. Gus did really well with this. Switching to the left lead, the 1-loops were more "dramatic", coming nearly to the quarter-line before turning back to the rail. We had a few more issues maintaining the true lead when doing counter-canter work on the left. This was mainly due to the fact that Gus was throwing himself around with this shoulders and not lifting, so it was more difficult to pick himself up when moving to the counter-bend. Before we called it quits, B had us counter-cantering the entire arena. That was A LOT of work for both of us, but Gus did a good job. I think we got about three laps before his engine was gone. He truly has no reserve ... when he's done, he is done.
All in all, it was a good lesson. Not as exhausting as the previous week, but exhausting enough. Gus ended up getting bundled up in his Northwind, which he's been wearing for a while now, with his Schneider's liner. Hopefully he's staying warm in all this cold weather.
If I don't write again before the holidays, Merry Christmas everyone!