Friday, November 21, 2014

I Went Riding!!!

I will have to write about my sporadic-ness of late at some point... but since I actually went riding this week, there is something to talk about! Well... if you enjoy reading about normal flat rides.

The last few times I've ridden its been in the arena (which is doubling as the girls' pasture right now) with The Pony tagging along. Tuesday however, I decided to get her out of there and do a little bit of exploring.

Fuzzy pony is rarin' to go. Can't you tell?

She was a good girl about tacking up, even though I didn't do such a great job with the girth. I'm still getting used to the fancy new Total Saddle Fit one that I have.
Anyways, I hopped on and for once she had a lovely walk right from the start. Usually we have a plodding walk and I have to try really hard not to nag. But she was great today and I decided to pick up the trot pretty quickly just  because it gets her energy up. Which it did.
We walked and trotted alternately up and down the driveway a few times and then ventured off down the road a little ways in both directions. My brain really wanted to go on a trail ride, but I ignored it! We only did a little bit before coming back. We'll get to trail riding eventually, but right now keeping her mentally happy and calm is what I want.

Heading home. Taking pictures while trotting is difficult.
We then headed into the side pasture and had a discussion about whether or not she could eat grass.  (hint: no)
I went straight for the canter once we had finished our discussion and while the canter itself wasn't all that wonderful, the transition into it was fairly good and the transition back down was lovely. Still working on transitioning down into a trot instead of a halt though. Either way, it was much softer and calmer.

We had another discussion about what speed she was going to trot at. She wanted to go super fast after I had let her canter, but since I want the canter to be something that goes well right now, I really focused on making her trot rhythmic. Oh, and posting at different speeds while she figured it out. That was interesting!

We had several very good points where she really softened and listened to me, so I changed it up a little and worked on a little bit of contact in both the walk and the trot. We had not done this in the trot, so it was new, but she did lovely and I was pretty happy with my hands if I do say so myself. ;)

I took her back down to where we cantered earlier and had another canter, which was a little bit better. The transition back down wasn't as smooth, but since she didn't hit the brakes, I called it good. We walked back down the stretch we had just cantered so she didn't get the wrong idea and then this happened.....

My legs hurt just thinking about it.
I'm a wimp when it comes to No-Stirrup November, so I only dropped them for the walk back to the barn. Even so... I think I prefer 2-point!

Overall, she was a lovely girl and I was really pleased. So often I get frustrated because it feels like I'm training a 16-year-old green horse, but quite honestly, I am. Most of the things we're working on she didn't learn as a young horse. She was a rodeo horse, so cantering/running fast and coming to a hard stop are natural to her. We've done more canter work in the last six months than I think I did in all the other years we've been together. We've made terrific progress. Yes, I get frustrated, but deep down I'm really proud.  :)

Not planning or anything, but Lady has been feeling pretty great lately, and I have my fingers crossed that she will be up for a small jump school next week. I would be so thrilled!!!!

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