I wanted to ride today... but I had to deal with grown up crap (car renewal, etc.), so I just did Chrome's exercises right before I fed him (luckily before the mosquitoes came out). I did routine two with the hip stretch, cavaletti, lifting his hind legs, stepping over the hay bale and his poll stretch.
I moved his cavaletti to a different spot that has a little bit of slope to it instead of flat ground just to mix things up a big because everything is getting too easy. I also used some broken tree limbs to extend the short pieces of PVC because he's learned to duck around them. I can't wait until I can get some cavaletti. It really sucks being broke (and having to pay an outrageous amount of taxes - a whole paycheck - on our old house since we aren't living there anymore grr).
I walked him over the (ghetto) cavaletti a few times and then tried trotting him through them. They were too close together to really trot through but he was willing to try. It was hilarious. I went back to walking through because my back hurt and I didn't feel like making them wider.
Then I walked him over the hay bale ten times. It's so funny how I can step over and stop at the end of his rope and he steps over and stops next to me. I don't even have to tell him what to do anymore. He knows his job hehe.
Then I had him lift his hind legs. I did five on one side, five on the other, then repeated another five on each side. He seems stronger on his right hind (picks it up higher and holds it longer).
After that I did his poll stretch. He did well on that one. He's still stiff to the left so I had him flex his whole neck on that side too. After that was the hip stretch... OMG my back was in spasms the whole time. I don't know what that's all about. I need to find a better way to hold his legs... twenty seconds never felt so long. On a brighter note he didn't seem particularly stiff on either side. Previously I could always tell his left side was stiffer. This time they felt the same. His balance is better too. He rarely tries to pull away (the only time he does is when he picks up a front leg because of a fly and loses his balance). He's even starting to hold his rear legs for me instead of me having to hold the full weight of them. He seems much more comfortable on the forward stretch part of it, but he still hates the outside stretch. There is definitely improvement though so that makes me happy.
I looked through all of the Cardio exercises in my book yesterday and I love that the routines still include most of the exercises we've been using. Unfortunately some of the exercises we can't do because he hasn't learned contact, lateral movements or extensions (I'll share them with you anyway), but there are some that will be helpful. I'll post in more detail about them tomorrow. Tomorrow makes a month I've been doing the prep phase so I feel like we are ready to move on to the cardio phase and I can't wait (it will include more riding)!
Anyway it's late.. we just got our internet back (some idiot started a fire under the phone lines and melted them) so I just wanted to do a quick update. I had grazing pictures of Chrome I wanted to share, but I don't feel like uploading them. I'll share them on tomorrow's post. I'll try to get caught up on your blogs tomorrow too. Not having internet so much this last week (various phone issues in the area) has really gotten me behind!