Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Recent Riding Recap

I just used alliteration in the title of this post. Wow.

Anyways. I haven't written anything about riding the last few days. So here you go.

Last Wednesday, I had planned on cleaning the house and then Raye texted me and asked if I wanted to see Missy go over jumps. What else could I do but drop everything else and scramble over to the barn to watch the cute mare be so stinkin' adorable. I had never seen Raye ride her either, so that was new. And fun.

First time outside in forever!

The following day was lesson day. Yay!!  The barn was in the process of pulling blankets when I got there because the day had turned a lot warmer than it usually does. After all, it's January?  Who expects 70 degree days??  Anyways, Missy was a bit sweaty under her blanket, so I took my time grooming and tacking up. And then she fell asleep in the crossties. When I was ready to head to the arena, she was SO slow moving. I handwalked her outside a bit and she perked back up and was ready to go.
The lesson was great!!  Lindsey was super happy with the improvement we've made, which of course makes me feel good in turn. She helped me improve my two point at the trot, which was fantastic because I could really start holding my balance for longer. The balance is the hardest for me - my legs can hold out, but I have a difficult time finding that middle ground where I'm really moving WITH the horse's motion. So anyways, improved that a bit and felt much better about it.
The canter work was fun again too!  I love cantering and Missy has just the cutest and most fun canter ever. Going to the left was fantastic. We started doing two point at the canter as well, and while Lindsey didn't comment on it, I felt like perhaps my stirrups were a bit too long because I was having a hard time getting out of the saddle properly. Anyways, I had to work a bit to keep her on the rail because she likes to cut the short sides off - probably just avoiding work, or at least that's what I think.  When we changed directions and picked up the canter to the right. It took only two strides and then she spooked at the door and veered into the center of the arena. The funniest part is that I'm convinced that the time for me to fall off is long overdue and when she first scooted over, I just knew I was going down and I started laughing.
But no, I didn't fall. I lost my outside stirrup (seriously, why that one?) but was able to immediately get her back on the rail. We trotted a lap and she gave the door an evil eye but that was the end of that. The rest of the canter work was fabulous and again, I could really feel improvement.

On Friday, I made a last minute decision to go riding and finally rode outside on my own!  The jump arena was still set up from Wednesday and it made me laugh how much Missy wanted to lock onto every single little pole. I gave her a lot of pats and told her that we would jump someday.
Of course, riding outside in the dusty windy West Texas weather meant that we were both sweating and covered in a ridiculous about of dirt by the time I got off after thirty minutes. Raye came out and watched us for a little bit and in her words, we are "so cute together!".  Yeah, I guess cute is a good word to describe it.

This morning, I dragged myself out of the house by 7:45am to get a ride in before heading to school.  It's gotten colder the last few days, which probably explains where her bursts of energy came from. She was actually fidgety in the cross ties and then when we got to the indoor and another girl was schooling slide stops on her horse, Missy really wanted to get going! Of course, overnight in a stall and a cold morning = cold muscles and I was super careful to warm her up properly. I rode for a full 45 minutes, going back and forth between trot-walk-canter-walk-trot-canter, etc. Lots of transitions and keeping a good rhythm. I didn't work quite as hard on my fitness (two point, etc) in this ride, but we really got some sharp and fun transitions. It was fantastic.

And then I had pictures to put with this post and couldn't get them moved properly. Sorry :(

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