It was another 85 degree day here on Saturday (yes, in December), so I spent the morning body clipping Brego yet again. He has been sweating in the field. Then we hit the trails and had a relaxing ride through the baking Texas Hill Country.
At the end of the trail ride is the much anticipated gallop track. I had Brego going at a pretty good clip, but as we rounded for home, we both lost some steam and he dropped back into a canter just in time for the photographer. So the pictures were not nearly as exciting as I had hoped, but they're still fun! He may not look like he is going fast, but please note the excess reins flying back. Also, I look terrified in the pictures, but I wasn't. The only thing scary about that ride was how out of shape I am, my quads were burning.
The results from the poll so far show that readers want more pictures and video and I am happy to oblige. One limiting factor though is that I work a full time job and by the time I go out to ride during the week, it's too dark for capturing images. I do ride in a lighted arena, but sometimes I wonder if a full moon might illuminate things better. So I will try hard to get some good pictures and video on the weekends, when I can ride under the full blazing sun.
Since it is winter and I am limited on what I can work on during the week, I am not going to try to push Brego's fitness up a notch and just hope to keep him at this baseline and work on suppling instead. He galloped fine, but we both were more tired than we should have been afterwards. So there's a wakeup call for the spring. Over the next couple of months, I will hope to ride 4 times a week, where 3 rides will be dressage for 45 minutes or so and then one trail ride or schooling. I hope to spend one night a week working Brego in hand to up his responsiveness. So from a conditioning perspective, he's not getting much work. The dressage is working his topline right now, but not his heart and lungs. That will have to come when I can ride for longer in the spring.
I am also going to try to take better pictures of Brego's feet to chronicle his trimming progress. He is doing really well barefoot, traveling miles over rocky trails without a problem. But we still have flares to fight and some unevenness in his heels. It is one area of his care that I have not detailed a lot on this blog, mainly because I am not the primary person who trims Brego. I will get some pictures (and perhaps a guest blogger!) to start including hoof care into the blog.