Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pushing through the pain

... of not riding in a month!  Ouch!  I was so sore this morning I had planned to wimp out and head into the pasture to hack and walk up about 4 hills.  Usually I do 6, but not when he's had a month off.  Be proud of me though, because I tacked Muffin up and headed into the ring to work hard again for about 20 minutes.

We did the COOLEST thing!  I dropped the reins completely.  Put both hands straight out to the side and also alternated stretching them straight up over my head.  I then walked Tiki a full lap around the ring, AND reversed direction ALL with using my eyes and legs, YAY!

 He was unbelievably responsive, it was amazing.  Tied my irons to the girth; I needed that super badly.  Trotted several laps around the ring both ways holding the buckle with my right hand, and keeping my left hand on my thigh.  He had some moments where he really took the contact and reached down to the ground, but for the most part, he kept his head fairly high and his back pretty flat and hollow.  The good news is his rhythm was SUPER.  Big, open, and forward without me having to nag him at all.  I did strap on the spurs today, and I'm glad I did.

We did a better job trotting over the 9' cavalettis today, lol.  Also threw in the shallow serpentine exercise, working on changing the bend, not leg yielding.  I did a couple of turn on the haunches, and those were just average.  Worked the canter transition from both the trot and walk, and they were quite nice.  Again no cross canter, and today he didn't flub a lead.  Yesterday on the straightaway from the trot tracking right he missed the right lead.  I would say 98% of the time I ask for the canter transition on the straightaway so he's always in tune to my AIDS, and not the bend of the corner.  I am SO glad I tied my stirrups, because I could feel my left leg especially want to get wonky and move like crazy at the canter:(  It KILLS me, I wish my legs would just STAY STILL.  But they don't, so I do things like tie my irons to the girth!

Approached the cavs from a different direction today and didn't miss a distance.  Yesterday I stayed on a bit of a smaller circle and approached them off that.  Today, I came at them from the longer side of the ring, approaching them a bit straighter.  I held him on the lead, and he didn't land right when we were tracking left.  He prefers landing right, so I try and work on him landing left if I want him to.

Finished by cantering right lead from a walk, then made a shallow loop and swapped cleanly to the left lead.  THIS is the year of the lead change.  I want to work on them, and I want him to reliably change all the way when I want him to.  It's time.  He's 9 years old now, it's time to grow up and be a big boy.  All in all, a fabulous day!  Tomorrow I will finish out the week by doing that hack/hills.  Monday begins with 2 days in the dressage saddle, muwa haha!


  1. Sounds like a great ride! I've tried the reins down and to steer with body/legs and for us it was a 50% win, lol! I think Laz starting to ignore it then take me on a ride, so I had to pick reins back up.