Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Finally Getting There!

I finally got back in the game yesterday and had a "real" ride. It was in a rope halter and bareback, but it was still a real ride!
I went out and caught Lady with little trouble, and even had The Pony come up for a petting too, which I was quite pleased about. :-)

After a little bit of moving around to see where she was at - slightly stiff and a bit grumpy - I hopped on and started out with just riding calmly around the arena (or their pasture as it is right now) at a walk. Lady was quite nice about it, even though I had to remind her to stay straight several times.

When I felt she was sufficiently warmed up (she lives out on pasture, but comes in stiff a lot) I decided to go straight into cantering. The trot has been our worst enemy lately, especially bareback, and I didn't feel like making that situation worse.
Side note: I am doing some research and working on my personal fitness/strength, and I continue to do several short periods of trotting whenever I ride for the sake of practicing, but I do have to be careful that I don't jar Lady's back or hurt her.

Anyways, I got my nerves together, and after a few not-too-terrible steps of trot, we transitioned into the canter and the transition was quite nice!  I'm getting better at that part!  My focus was on keeping her energy forward, and keep myself with her. We accomplished both goals!  I was present enough to let her know what was expected, and I even kept a good seat (albeit gripping a bit too much with my legs).

I was pleased with that and brought her back down to a walk for a break before trying it a second time. The transition wasn't as good the second time around, but once we were in the gait, it went quite well.
Cantering is so much fun when it goes well!

Lastly, I decided to go through our dressage test (USDF Intro A) completely at the walk. My focus here was her obedience (she did well) and my ability to see the geometry (not so good). I'm not good at seeing circles yet so our lopsided eggs were completely my fault and not Lady's.

My notes:

  • Must do more canter work! She is capable of it, just needs the practice to build muscle.
  • I need to have more strength in my my thighs.
  • Independent seat, especially in the trot and canter are very important.
  • Practice circles more often.

How was your latest ride? Did it go smoothly? What did you learn?

My latest motto. <3

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