I had a great ride on Limerick yesterday--we did cavaletti for the first time since November. I want to begin doing this with her regularly (think of it as core work for horses), and also I was curious as to how well she would move over them since her chiropractic appointment.
For those that don't know--cavaletti are basically poles laid out parallel to one another, at a specific distance. Both horses and humans would have to take gigantic steps to get over each pole. I will try to post photos tomorrow for a visual aid.
I spaced out four poles, flat on the ground (cavaletti can be raised slightly, too). Easy enough. I was expecting Lim to hesitate or rush the poles, but she did neither. She was wonderful! She lifted her back and legs high, which is the purpose of the exercise, and stepped over the poles nicely.
My husband was there taking photos with his new camera so I decided to go a step further and asked him to move a single pole to the other side of the arena from the cavaletti. My plan was to--over the course of a single 20-meter circle--trot the cavaletti then canter around to the single pole, hop over it in a controlled, even way, canter around to the cavaletti and trot again before reaching it. And so forth so on.
Limerick was fantastic! She kept up a great pace to the single pole and didn't rush to or from it, and hopped over it cleanly (with me doing my best to "see" my spots). She also continued to do well with the cavaletti...she tried to duck around it once but I did a U-turn and went right over it again to tell her that she can't duck out!
As we rode, in her typical fashion she became more and more excitable and worked up. But unlike many times in years past, she never felt out of control, which I was very pleased with. Hopefully that calmness is here to stay and isn't just a byproduct of her being out of shape.
As mentioned, I need to post some photos my husband took--they look great! In the meantime I do have this one: