So I have gotten to ride a total of four times in the past two weeks – I don’t know how the South can take any more of this crazy weather! All around the United States equestrians are dealing with abnormal and extreme weather. Blessed are those who have covered an indoor arenas. Georgians tend to not be cold enough or wet enough to warrant such a facility, but this winter season I would give a lot to be able to ride on a consistant basis. This is why I haven’t posted anything in what seems like forever, its because there has been not a lot of things going on the riding front. I did get to ride two days in a row on Sunday and Monday however – I feel like this is quite an accomplishment all things considering! [:
Val was as good as was possible – without consistent work he falls into a pattern of resistence. He acts like he blames me for not being able to ride – he loves to work and resents when we are not communicating. He is almost as bad about not riding as I am! I turn into a bit of a monster when I am not riding – and being stressed out about NAJYRC doesn’t help things. Sunday he was really fresh after three days in a stall, but I love that energy and would almost prefer he be cooped up as much as possible. That energy gave us a really positive trot session which I rode first after a really super warm-up. I never expect his trot to be the best work and trying to get the ‘fight’ out of the way I first rode the trot work. Mistake. His trot shoulder in’s were great and really carrying through the shoulder and staying on the line; the half pass was super supple and had lots of energy both sideways and forwards without a trailing hind end! I am feeling pretty good at this point in the ride because the hard work has been easy. Then we picked up the canter and everything went face down. Everything from keeping the hind legs under the body, to cantering a straight line, to powering around a circle, to transitioning was essentially broken. My horse has a fantastic canter – I am continuously told this – and somehow that fact didn’t translate to his body. I got frustrated – I am always ready for a fight after so much time off and I hate when I am not disappointed. And I hate myself when I get frustrated. Luckily, I pulled myself out of it enough to realize things were spiralling downhill quick and came to a walk to try to change that pattern. We ended on a 15 meter circle just trying to get a relaxed, working canter in which I could transition in and out of. Maybe someday I will recognize the fight before it even becomes one – that would be the point I could actually feel comfortable calling myself a professional.
Monday was better, but still not great. I learned my lesson and worked the canter first however, which helped a lot! He was going well enough to attempt half pass in the canter, and they were actually really strong. He still stiffens in the right half pass – it’s either the hind end not crossing enough or stiffening through the jaw and shoulder to come above the connection and either way we lose rhythm. But we were able to do them to the flying change and then around to the half pass the other way. We also schooled our 10 meter circles and enough flying changes to kill someone. I went back to doing them true lead to counter canter and back again. He wasn’t terribly relaxed or happy with the idea but he grasped the concept enough to get a few good ones in. Sometimes he likes to be early, and the other times he is late off the aid. Regular work will help put that button back on though, so I am not terribly worried. The trot work was wonderful again although too running in the rhythm because of his worrying about the changes in the canter.
Lesson tomorrow – will give you the full report afterwards. Hopefully it is good news! However, cannot even tell you if we are going to school in the double or not tomorrow; we will leave it up to the horse and see if he is feeling good enough to go.
On another note I will be re-doing my show schedule since dates have changed, added, and firmed up. Oh yes – I will tell you all about my adventures through the USEF and USDF Rule Book another time!
And oh, take one guess who got their top hat last week? :D Thanks Mom, Dad, and Step-Mom – without your support I would be nothing. Thanks for putting up with my grumpiness these past few weeks of limited riding; I promise when spring finally shows up I will be better!