Rosey and I had a lovely, lovely ride tonight. The weather was cool (post t-storm!), the sunset was gorgeous, and life is pretty awesome. In any case, after our last ride, I wanted to focus on a little more forward, and on my own monkey self.
One of the things I have to keep reminding myself when riding is to stop worrying so much about her. I kept catching myself looking at her ears, as if by looking down and reaching out with MY head, I could get her to reach out with hers. Not so much. Sitting deep and tall, and keeping my mind on “forward” we get much better results (amazing!)
And at one point I found myself getting frustrated- going to the left, I felt she was heavier/stiffer on the left rein, and my arm was getting tired. Then I remembered that the same thing used to happen with my horse, and some long-ago yelled instruction echoed in my brain, to relax and stop STIFFENING my left arm. If I get soft, she’ll get soft (and again, this is like magic!)
Tonight we also had some very good canter work (at least, from my perspective). We are not quite ready for perfect transitions to the canter from the walk (I was feeling ambitious and tried it), but her transitions from the trot are getting easier and easier, more balanced every time with less quickness and running. Her circles are getting stronger as her hind end improves, and to the left I can keep her aligned very easily on those circles. To the right, it’s a fair bit harder, but I’m not sure how much is her and how much is just that I have a horrible time closing my left leg the same way I do with my right (I need some lunge lessons). Several times at the canter, I could feel her becoming very rhythmic and even, and felt like she was stretching out into longer, slower strides.
After our ride, we had some nice, quality currying… She’s not spoiled AT ALL! 🙂