I am doing everything I can to fight off a cold! Agh! I hate colds:( Felt like crap yesterday, but went out and rode anyway. 2nd to last day with no stirrups, and Tiki boy felt amazing. Had a lovely walk on contact, he felt very nice and supple in my hands, and he was super good and quiet (of course, temps have been in the 80's too!). Tracking left at the trot, he felt a little locked up in the jaw. I sacrificed equitation and tried to soften up his mouth a bit, but he still just felt really locked in the jaw that way. His left side is his stronger side, but his right is his more flexible side; it's interesting. Canter felt super splendiferous:) Lovely leads, nice soft and quiet rhythm, and I felt GOOD. I guess the no stirrups has really made a difference, yay! Ended by trotting through the gym poles that had been set up. That was tough at first because it's easier for him to just canter over that stuff. But, I insisted, and BREATHED so I didn't stiffen up, and by the 3rd time, he was trotting through like a rockstar.:) Yay.
Today, Nicole gave me a lesson on Star; it was my first time on the flying couch, and I must say, it was an adventure! She was great; she's an awesome personality in a small package.:) I haven't been on a Morgan in a LONG time, so it was a treat to ride her:) First off, her barrel is twice the size of Tiki's. Secondly, I was riding her in a pelham, which makes it SO easy to get a nice break at the poll. Thirdly, I was in my spurs, and I USED them, haha! By the time I trotted once around the ring, my legs were tired. That is so what I needed. BTW, did I mention this was a stirrupless lesson? On a horse I've never ridden? Yeah!
Anyway, the great part is she is super, super comfy. Nicole had me pick my hands up, and sit back even more than I had been; that's tough for me. I LIKE to sit like a hunter princess, lol. She also nailed me on losing my left thumb; I let it turn over and drop too low, and she made me conscious of that left hand, always.
Had a nice breakthrough during my final phase of torture; I jumped the last part of the gymnastics; the final 2 stride. I was a wimp and wouldn't do the whole thing because I knew the distance would be a hair long for her, and I wasn't feeling aggressive enough to ride her up to the spot, so I only trotted through the poles, and trotted into the final 2 jumps so I could easily fit in an extra stride. It felt OK. I haven't jumped without stirrups on purpose for about 13 years now, and I FELT it! She put the 2nd crossrail up to about a 2'3 vertical, and had me REALLY think about even distribution of pressure through my entire leg. I did OK, and was ready to quit. She made me go through ONE more time, lol. I did it, REALLY supported with my leg, and it felt MUCH better, so I was glad she kicked my butt. Won't be able to walk tomorrow, but it's all worth it!
Hope y'all have a HAPPY EASTER, and I'll post another riding update after I ride Monday ... with my stirrups tied to the girth ... :)