Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Short and Sweet

I took a couple days off because I am afraid part of why we had trouble last ride was that my legs were too sore and weren't doing what I thought I was telling them to do.

So, today I took out my mom-in-law's two horses and brushed them, cute bridle paths and sprayed their mane/tail. They seemed to like the attention. I put my three out to run in the arena in the meantime. After I finished with Turbo and Sparkles I brushed Thunder and put him back in his pen. I caught Dazzle, clipped her bridle path and chin whiskers with clippers, then caught Spotless. I clipped his bridle path and whiskers, then gave him a much needed bath. It was his first bath of the new year. And he looked like it. I let him dry in the sun while I did a ride on Dazzle.

I got on and track left to we were looking right. Whe was only too happy to trot so I went ahead and posted trot. Close to C I gave the reins a little and asked with my leg and seat position for canter. She cantered. We did a circle. On the correct RIGHT lead. We trotted after one circle and did it again in two other places. Then we changed rein and did it going left. I made sure I wasn't getting in her way. I looked up where we were going, didn't worry about her being on the bit, just focused on turning my body where I wanted to go. She did try to cut in a little, but not too bad. And she took the correct lead, EVERY time. she was even fairly light on the aids. She tried to canter a couple times when I hadn't asked. I had a whip, but never used it. We did about 3 circles of canter each direction, some trot diagonals, a free-walk diagonal. I just tried to stay out of her way.

Usually, I do the circle I want to canter at the trot first. I make sure she is balanced. I bend her to the inside, push her out so she doesn't cut in, ask for the canter. ANd she throws a fit and often takes the wrong lead. So, I wanted to test my theory I just tend to get in the way. She apparently I was right. She did great western when I wasn't in her mouth at all, and then today when I had contact, but wasn't trying to do anything in her mouth to cue her, so now I just have to figure out how to ask her to be on the bit but not get in her way at the same time. That's all...

So, we only rode about 10 minutes, but I got exactly what I was looking for, so I rewarded her with quitting. And a bath. Both she and Spotless are now clean, with tail bags, fly-masks, and fly-sheets. I really needed a good ride. The last one was so discouraging. Today I was sorting through pictures that had never gotten put in the right files on the computer and I look really un-impressive. They were from last fall. My leg is too far forward and for the life of me I can't fix that, OR my toes being too far out. It's the way my legs and feet are made. I fight against it every time I ride trying to sit properly. It makes me wonder if maybe I should let someone else do Dressage on her and just do Western on her. But I love Dressage, so that really isn't the perfect solution even if I could find someone to do Dressage on her.

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