|Conformation pic from today. Looks good, doesn't he?|
First off, I just have to say I have been slightly overwhelmed by the outpouring of support of my friends, clients, and facebook friends in regards to me selling Tiki. Offers of leases and horses for me to ride have poured in, and for that I am SO grateful. We'll just see what happens. I've put him out there, and while he's not outrageously expensive, he's also not "cheap", so I'm hoping to make sure he gets in to a good program where he will be allowed to become MORE than he can become with me. Simon Eades talked about how, "WHEN this horse goes prelim", as if it were a foregone conclusion. With ME? I'm not so sure. I'm not that brave, or that clever, and I'm always too broke to get in the necessary lessons/schoolings/shows to make that happen. Maybe this whole situation is just his destiny, and someone buys him with the time, talent, and money to bring him along to his full potential. I don't know, I'm just going with the flow right now.
So far this week, I've had 2 really great rides. Honorary little sis Nicole is flying home from NY for the weekend, and we will ride together (YAY!), AND I've ridden twice, so good for me! Tuesday, it had been 3 weeks since I'd sat on a horse. LR rode him a few times for me in those 3 weeks, so he didn't sit idle the entire time. I tossed on the dressage tack and went up to the rock hard ring to get in some good work. He was amazingly quiet and fabulous. Honestly, he didn't even feel fresh at all. No swishies or head shakes. He DID feel a little bit heavy, but that's to be expected.
There was a random pole on the rail in his track that I went over every time. It mostly felt perfect, and I simply kept my leg ON him vs. chasing him around the ring. I did a bunch of circles, trying to concentrate on keeping him big and slow, and to use my leg more than my hand so we got a correct bend in the circles. TONS of reverses, and I tried just to ride well and relax. I didn't canter very much, and he did feel a little fresh at the canter, but as usual he was a gentleman.
Today, I slapped on the stadium tack (wonder bit included), and set up a single vertical dead center of the ring, and a cavaletti on the other long side of the pole I'd worked over Tuesday. For ME, I stretched down in my heel and worked to stabilize my leg. For him, I just wanted to keep him big and slow like on Tuesday, and I did a bunch of shallow and big serpentines to get him to soften up and bend around my leg. I LOVE that wonder bit, he is so much lighter in that vs. the mullen mouth loose ring. I schooled the walk/canter transition, and he really sat down and stepped into the transition BEAUTIFULLY! LR has been working on those, and I can tell big time. He has really improved. Even those downward transitions have been so much better and more balanced. Having someone else sit on him now and then has been GREAT! I'm very grateful to her, and I know he is too.
I finally quit procrastinating, and cantered the pole, counting down from 5. It worked, I got to the pole perfect every time. 5 strides out gives me time to actually adjust instead of sit there paralyzed. Moved on to the cavaletti, and it was just as good. Counted down to it each time, and we got there great. I DID notice that I was a little more accurate off the left lead. Coming in right, I got just a *hair* deep, but it was still good. As I cantered into the vertical, I realized that I freeze mentally a little bit. As I look at the jump, I feel the rhythm in my mind, but I forget to literally THINK 5,4,3,2,1. Once I finally made myself count down, we got to the jump very well each time. It wasn't as perfect as our MayDaze xc run, but it was pretty good. No frustration today whatsoever. I DO wish I had a reliable eye and could nail every jump every time, but I don't. I just have to work on it! Muffin was fab, not sure what we'll do this weekend, but it will be something:)