Saturday, September 17, 2011

Feeling just a touch envious of the children.  As this GORGEOUS Fall weather kicks in, they're all out there showing and getting out and about.  I'm riding at home.  I DO remember to be grateful, though.  My horse COULD be lame.  Or dead.  So I really can't complain THAT much.  Anyone care to remind me of blog entries from 3 years ago when I brought Tiki home?  

Paraphrasing here:  "It's not even like I have boots that fit me, and I would hate to subject innocent bystanders to me in breeches.  This horse is just for fun, I do NOT like to compete".

Well, that was BEFORE I had a horse worthy of competing!;)  AND before I discovered the world of eventing.  But whatever, it will happen when it happens, and in the mean time I will be content to take the Muffin to IEA shows and warm him up personally, which is practically as good as actually competing, right??

Wednesday I conned asked my boss nicely to give me a lesson.  Cleaned stalls, groomed my boy, loaded him up easy as pie, and headed out to Patchwork for a "butt kicking eq lesson".  Unloaded a sweaty boy (of course!), and hosed him off a little bit before tacking him up.  Thank goodness for arriving an hour before scheduled lesson!  Dressed the pony, dressed myself, and headed into the ring.  It was getting WARM at this point.  Put him in the waterford for the lesson; no martingale or anything fancy.  Walked on a loose rein, and then Janet came out.  Put him right to work.  Picked up contact at the walk before moving up to the trot.  His neck was nice and round, but Janet wanted him "softer and deeper".  So, I would ask with that outside rein to come down and flex.

MORE trot, MORE leg, MORE trot.  I kicked until I felt like we were trucking around at Mach 10, and finally the boss was happy:)  She was patting herself on the back for taking a "chintzy" and not so great mover and turning him into one that's not half bad!  I give her ALL the credit:)  It was rather exhausting, but hopefully I got some muscle memory so that when I ride on Monday, I can recreate the feeling.  The theme of the day was to increase his range of motion, which unlocks his back and makes him softer and more relaxed.  I guess I just need to make sure I keep him forward and in front of my leg at all times, but not fall back into that habit of chasing him.  It's certainly a fine line, but one I can walk ride.  

Worked on getting the canter bigger in the front end, and covering more ground while staying slow.  Good with that.  Worked on the clean transitions; those have been cleaner at home, but we got a few good ones.  Perfect turn on the forehand; improved on the turn on the haunches.  He wasn't a goober about leads at all; good there.  Jumping wise, Janet put a few of them up around the 3' mark.  Our jumping was the best it had ever been in a lesson.  Did a good jumper course and I dropped him at the deep spots a few times.  Did some nice "jump and spin" turns; just need to keep my body back a little more effectively through those.  Other than that though, we were in general much improved.  I was very happy and pleased.  

Tiki had about a 2 hour break, and then he had to fill in for one of my lessons.  He wasn't too bad, but he was a little quick ... and chintzy.  Oh well.  I know my horse like the back of my hand; it will take time for the kids to get him going as well as I do.  I just chalk it up to more experience.

Friday I longed him in the pasture in his halter just to stretch him out and check his comfort level.  Wed was more work than he'd done in quite a while.  All looked 100%, so I was happy.  Monday will probably involve the dressage saddle.  Joyce drug the ring, so all the jumps are piled in the center right now.  If I want to jump, I will have to take the time to set something up.

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