Saturday, March 16, 2013

Light at the end of the tunnel

First bath since ... December?  Can't even remember!

I'd decided to do a dressage school on Friday, but I stewed as I cleaned stalls, and decided to do a "jumping flatwork" type of ride, and do a LOT of cantering over poles.  Because EVERYONE knows you can't crash a pole, right?

Poles are safe!  Right?

Lol, I most certainly CAN crash a pole, because we did it ... 3 times.  I was so frustrated, I pulled him up in a nice, lovely halt and yelled "FU$&" at the top of my lungs.  I then gave him a loose rein and walked, composing myself.

Geez, what an off week.  I apologize if my last post seemed a little bit poor, poor, pitiful me.  This blog isn't all sunshine and rainbows, people!  I blog about it when it's bad, too.  I KNOW I'm a decent rider.  I'm not a genius, and I don't have a perfect, phenomenal feel, but I'm certainly far from the worst rider I've ever seen:)  I decided to change up my tactic, and began to 'look' for my distance 5 strides out instead of just 3.  I think 3 strides out, it's too late at that point to make a good decision.  5 strides gives you time to make an adjustment.  Not only did I look for 5 strides out, I also counted out loud, 5,4,3,2,1.  It was under my breath, but it was audible ... and calm.  I didn't get wound up and anxious, I let go of my frustrations and rode what was right in front of me.

Miracle of all miracles, I didn't miss another single distance.  I cantered probably 12 additional poles after my little hollering melt down, and even though I had to do a 5,4,3, pole, or a 5,4,3,2,1,2,3,pole once or twice, Tiki and I managed to arrive at the right distance each time.  Yay us, maybe I'm on to something!

As an aside, I have a little ex-student that's a facebook friend of mine.  EVERY single picture I see of her and her fancy show pony show them in draw reins.  I mean ... EVERY picture that is posted daily.  I added draw reins to Tiki's tack today, and by the end of the ride, he was nearing freight train status.  Yes, they help him hold his shape, but DANG they make him pull on me.  The pulling occurs at the canter; the trot work is usually stellar and Friday was no exception.  At the canter, I think it's just SO hard for him to do it in the correct shape, he compensates however he can.  He was really tired.  Every time he crashed a pole, that back would hollow out and his head would come flinging up, fighting me.  Once we took our little rest, it was better, but I had to do a couple of pretty colossal half halts to keep him off me.  That's precisely why I hack in the draw reins MAYBE 6 times a year.  I think I prefer them for the hills, but will leave them off in the ring:)

So, we had an ok day on Friday.  It's hard when he is unenthusiastic and doesn't take me down to the poles.    I will take him to Patchwork either this week or next one day to give him a field trip and give me a chance for some input.  LR will ride tomorrow.  Things will be better, I know it.  I'll just keep taking it one day at the time, starting with a clean slate each time.  If I have to resort to trotting jumps for a while, so be it.  I hate trotting jumps so much, my eye will improve out of sheer desperation!;)

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to give hue his first bath of spring... Soon I hope.