Friday, November 29, 2013

Awe, it's over so soon?

Welp, I just had my last ride for this month on Wednesday. All I can say is . . . YES! OH GOD, YES! THANK YOU LORD JESUS CHRIST, YES! I don't think I've ever experienced such torturous leg pains ever before in my life. Even my bareback only lesson wasn't as difficult as riding with no stirrups.

I guess this month did do some good, though. I've learned what and what not to squeeze with, and I built up a decent amount of core strength despite only having three rides the entire month. I also got my posting without stirrups down, which is something that I'm very happy about because I had the feeling that I was posting off of my stirrups rather than doing it the correct way.

The canter is still iffy. The first ride this month was good, but the second and third were not as nice when it came to the canter. I rode by myself two weeks ago, and it was okay going to the right, but really bad going to the left. Throw that on top of the fact that Baby is very difficult on her left lead, and it's almost impossible to stay with her. I've started stiffening my hips again, which is something that I have worked very hard on this past year to stop, but I guess it's just going to be an ongoing bad habit of mine.

My last ride was the best trotting wise. It was much easier to deal with the speeding up and slowing down that Baby occasionally throws. She was throwing it a lot on Wednesday, but you'd be surprised what a simple relaxation of the hips and straightening of the spine can do.

Besides the usual walk, trot, canter, and transitions that we do, Miss S had us do an exercise with moving the hip. "I want you guys to know how to control every part of your horse's body," she said. Well, that's easier said than done. A bit of history on Baby, she's an all around horse. Western pleasure, hunter under saddle, hunter over fences, trail, she can do a lot, and she's got a great head on her shoulders (or, withers?). She's broke to the nines, BUT you have to know how to ask. The specific movement that we were doing was a turn on the forehand. We started on the long side, trot around the short side to the next long side, stop far enough away from the way, do a turn on the forehand, then trot off. Everybody does it, then it's my turn, and, at that point, I deduced that it could go two ways. Way one was that Baby decided to be perfect, push button horse and just do the turn on the forehand simply because I asked kindly. Way two went more along the lines of Baby would pretend that she has no idea what leg means (she's done that before, even when I bend her in a corner). It ended up being somewhere inbetween since Baby is not a push button horse (Bomproof? Yes! Pushbutton? No!). Of course, I exaggerated the leg position, which caused issues, and then there's her issue with stopping and not going until I ask. At the end of the day, it wasn't perfect. I didn't expect perfect, but every time we went ended in success of some sort, and I can say that I am very happy about that. The only way is up, right?

On an opportunistic note, Miss S approached me with a deal after the ride. I clean the big pasture on the property on Sundays, and I wanted to put the money that I made from that towards a lease on Baby in the month of April. The idea was that I could get in some extra ride time before show season started, but, my goals for next year have shifted and shifted, and at this point I'm not exactly sure what I want to do. Either way, a lease in April would no longer provide me with the preparation that I needed. As I was just coming to this conclusion, Miss S mentioned the lease, but then she asked me if I would clean the pasture for an extra ride every week. My heart stopped then, I swear it did. I would diffuse an atomic bomb the size of Russia just to get an extra ride in every week. It's sort of like a mini lease, in my opinion. Needless to say, I agreed. So, now I'll be riding twice a week instead of just once a week, and I think I'm going to start filming my rides. I say think because we ride indoors this time of year, and the video quality may not be very nice. Plus the dust; my poor camera is going to suffocate if it stays with me. Oh well, that's what happens when you're into horses.

My current schedule has one show on December 7th then another on the 14th. Yeah, that's right, two shows only a week apart because I'm just that cool.

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