Thursday 11 February 2016

Not So Bad!

Tuesday, my first ride in a million years, felt not so bad. I'm still tired very easy, so I just W/T/C both ways and called it a day. It was maybe a half hour ride. Bridget was feeling super fresh (no coughing!) but I was feeling rather wobbly and uncoordinated (plus lots of coughing!) Still, it felt great to be back.

Last night was lesson night.

There was enough daylight left that I was able to take Bridget for a quick hack off property as a warm up. What a treat after these last few months of arriving at the barn after work and never seeing the light of day. When we got back to the arena, the girls ahead of me were having a jumping lesson and Bridget started getting all hyped up for that. We stuck with flatwork because I didn't feel up for anything too physically demanding, plus honestly, the time off made the jumps look HUGE!
Look! I'm riding AND it's still daylight! A miracle :)

We did our normal shoulder in and haunches in on a spiral as the warm up. Midge felt kind of sticky and stiff, but that's to be expected after 2 weeks of trail rides on the buckle. She gave it her best though, and we moved on to playing a little with collecting and lengthening. The collected stuff felt awesome. EC told me to imagine being so round and up we are trotting in place, and Bridget actually offered that up for a couple of steps, surprising us all - that's not actually what we thought would happen! The lengthenings felt good for a baby horse, she is getting the idea of using her hind end and pushing. They wouldn't get us great marks at a dressage show, but the idea is becoming more solid every ride, and her strength and balance seems to improve daily.

Right canter - the up transitions were amazing! We can get almost an entire 20m circle where she is relaxed and round (and straight - finally not running through the outside aids) Huge progress! I transition down when she loses balance and she's getting quite good at finding her balance and getting back into that nice round trot within 2 or 3 strides. Then back up to canter we go! So fun.

Left canter - still more of the struggle bus side. At this point it's more me than her. Bridget is definitely more unbalanced this way, but I am still doing that dumb thing where I react by giving with my outside aids and hanging on the inside. EC has me thinking counterflexing Bridget almost immediately after the transition, which is a great help in actually staying straight and keeping my hands where they need to be. When she loses balance this way it's almost always falling out of the circle, so in addition to our trot transition we add in a spiral in shoulder fore (is it called that? Shoulders to the center or the circle, haunches out, but counter flexed to the outside...) to remind us both what the outside aids are for.

Dressage show in two weeks. Are we ready? Nope. Are we going to have fun? Yep, I think so!

1 comment

  1. awww yay Midget Pony!!! methinks she's starting to see the point in all this flat work stuff - that it can actually be fun and feel good! glad you had such a nice first lesson back :)