Greed is (Not) Good

I was talking to my friend D the other day about Ike.  D had just watched the video of our rides from the dressage show last weekend and was very pleased at how well Ike did.  It would be easy to get greedy and push for more and more with Ike since he has such an easy going nature, but with apologies to Gordon Gecko, I will have to say that greed is not good in this case.

Ike just turned four this past week.  He won’t finish growing for another couple of years – eek!  The fear is that if I push too hard, too fast, there might be revolt and that is definitely not what we want to teach him.  We are not aiming to compete in the national 4-year-old-tests; we are looking for a long term dressage partner who happily brings his owner up the levels.

I did ride with the whip again yesterday and found that it does help to keep the hind end more in line with the rest of the body.  I don’t actually use the whip, its mere presence is enough.  Less is more in this case.  I did attempt to record my ride, but most of the recording is of an empty arena with glimpses of Ike.  If I can edit it appropriately, I will add a link to YouTube later so that you can see our feeble attempt at a stretch down trot following a canter.

In the spirit of not being greedy, Ike got the day off.  He has been superb the past 4 days, so a day of rest was well deserved.  Ike was happily grazing when I said goodbye.

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