Pie and I managed to get in another nice ride today. The temperature was a little above freezing and there was almost no wind. The snow and ice are melting, but the footing is still terrible except in the grassy area behind the barn. We made good use of it, though. We did some walk work using our cones, including figures and some more softening work. He has more trouble softening when we're tracking right, and also finds it hard to flex his neck in that direction. He's got some tight muscles on the left side of his neck, and I need to do more stretches and massage with him to help these relax. He also frequently rests his left hind foot when standing, and I expect that may be related to the neck issues - he's not at all off or lame but I expect the stiff neck puts some strain on areas in his back and hindquarters. Our chiropractor will be able to help with that.
We were also able to do some good work at the trot - transitions - the downwards ones are particularly nice - all I have to do is think "walk" or "halt" and breath out and he's right there. We did some figure work and also some circles, and a figure I call "yin/yang" - it looks just like the yin yang symbol, doing circles with nice S shapes through the center to change directions:
It's a nice exercise, particularly when your space is limited as ours was today. I wasn't using cones for that one, although you could put cones where the dots are.
Pie was very relaxed and responsive today and it was great to get in a ride - good Pie!