What a fabulous day to be out on the trails in Vermont!  Apparently it was also a good day to be a cow in Vermont! (See picture)

Apollo and I headed out to rack up a few miles today.  It is hard to make an exact guess at how many we did as I included as much windy, hilly trail as I could, but my best calculation is fourteen miles.  We had some great terrain variety from steep, long inclines; to steep declines; to some nice flat stretches for a good strong trot; to a great open hill for a short hand gallop.

Apollo was exceptionally well-behaved and didn't slow down for a minute even through muck and over downed branches and trees from yesterday's storm.

One thing I have been particularly careful to pay attention to is Apollo's walk.  Because the Auto Road is so steep we will be walking (I imagine) the entire ride.  With this in mind I want as quick of a walk as Apollo can comfortably manage.  I teach him to have a more forward and powerful walk by gently squeezing him with my legs alternating from side to side until he is on the brink of trotting.  I then stop squeezing with my legs.  If he has actually picked up the trot, I bring him back to the walk gently, aiming to find that faster walk.  As long as he maintains the quicker pace, I leave him alone.  As soon as he slows, I start squeezing with my legs and start the process over.  When walking, I have been told horses use more muscles than at the trot or the canter.  Therefore, it is important for me to spend enough time walking to build up all the necessary muscles.  I try to maintain a careful balance of conditioning for the walk and conditioning for wind and heart rate while protecting him from injury as much as possible.

Enjoy your weekend!



05/31/2012 08:59

is before long


Leave a Reply