Training Diary – May 5

You know you’re sick when it’s 25 degrees outside and you spent most of the day snuggled up under a big blanket on the couch shivering.

I did drug up on cold meds and drive Rocky though – that first driving trial is very much on my radar, 5 weeks away! And I want to do all I can to make sure he’s ready.

I always start Rocky to the left as that’s his easy way. By letting him warm up and stretch out in the direction he’s more comfortable, I’m setting him up for success on his more difficult way.

Today, when I switched to the right, he was really struggling. I tried doing some transitions to see if that would help his balance and put him together, then varied the size of the circle, tried more and then less contact … I was starting to get frustrated, so I switched back to the left, in the hopes that maybe he just needed a bit more work that direction. It worked! Some nice balanced trotting in both directions, a huge effort on his part on the spiral exercise in both directions (and looking back at the video, this really makes him round and use himself well!), and then I tried some very short straight lines, back into the circle with some good success!

On our cool down walk around the driving track I couldn’t resist trying a bit of trot, and we managed a lovely round trot on the straightaway, which was super exciting! It took all my willpower to leave it alone and call it a win – would’ve been way too easy to ask for more, which probably wouldn’t have gone as well when he was getting tired at the end of a session. Holding the course for a couple more weeks will be the way to go – once he’s built some more strength and got his balance established, I can’t wait to ask him to pick up and really trot! I will wait though … all this slow and steady bending trot is exactly where we need to be right now.

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