Thursday, January 26, 2012


It is a difficult thing to have.  Today I deadlifted after not doing it for a little while.  I was excited to get back to it, as it is one of my favorite lifts.  But I had to take it easy to ensure that I could do more in the not too distant future.  I think I got the intensity just right.

Bear, it would seem, did not exercise the same discretion yesterday.  It appears that his exuberance at the lope has cost him a little bit in terms of mobility.  Today he was stiff. And very slow to warm up.  It does not help that the winter lot resembles a lumpy ice skating rink, so I don't think he is moving much on his own.  But still, he was probably pushing himself a little harder than he should have yesterday.  He is lucky that I was not planning on pushing him at all.  I'm happy that I only loped him for a few minutes at most.

When the lot has bad footing we often let the guys roll and romp around a little.
He is getting to be an old guy (17 in a few months), and both of us can easily forget this.  In the last two weeks I think I only rode him once.  None of my winter rides have been hard, but I do need to ensure that I get more frequent, non-demanding rides in so that he can keep feeling good.  That seems to be what works best.

So today we spent a long time walking around, backing up, and doing some whirly-gigs.  When I thought he was as warmed up as he could be from walking, we moved into the trot.  It was not an energetic trot.  We spent most of the time working on our transitions in and out of the gait.  I didn't let him trot for too long, and I let him pick the pace.  I was happy that a few times he moved out a little bit more.

The transition work was really good.  Most of the time when we were moving from the walk up to the trot I could just open my legs a little bit and gather some energy into my thighs and butt.  It is hard to explain.  It felt almost like flexing my muscles, but I was also somewhat loose at the same time.  Only twice did I have to close my legs to encourage him to move out.  Every other time he gracefully moved into an easy trot when I would shift my weight and open my legs.  It was quite cool.

And that was about it for the ride.  We finished with a lot of stretching, and I rubbed down both of his hind legs.  He seemed to enjoy that.  When I put him back out into the pasture I thought he was moving better than when I brought him in, so that is something.  There is a chance of snow tomorrow so I will probably use that as an excuse to read, drink tea, and make a nice dinner, so Bear can get some rest.  But if I'm really lucky I'll get to ski.

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