Last night I had an interesting ride on Rosey- she was quite energetic, and while I generally like the “forward” thing, I kept getting the feeling that she was running while simultaneously not being “in front of my leg.” To add insult to injury, when I tried to bring my leg back into the correct place, I totally lost my center, and she got even quicker. After fumbling around for a bit, I decided to stop working so hard and began to ask her for some serpentines and figure eights.
That seemed to work nicely, it got her attention, and with her slowing down a bit I was able to get myself better aligned, and even get my leg “on” more without her reacting so much to it, which gives a much nicer feeling (and makes it much easier for me to sit straighter and feel more balanced).
When we stepped up into the canter, it turned out really lovely. I worked on keeping her mostly on circles, and just focused on me as much as possible- sitting quietly, following with my hands, and that sort of thing. She really goes much better the more I focus on what I am doing, so I’m trying to make that the primary goal of every ride. She’s becoming much more even (I’m thinking that Trainer Extraordinaire may have something to do with that) and I had a much easier time last night keeping her on the circle to the right.
I do also try to make our circles more like “square” circles- occasionally she wants to motorcycle a little, since she doesn’t have bending down, so if you stay on too much of an arc, she can start diving around the turn a little bit.
I didn’t want to do too much, since I’m still a little unsure of the riding schedule (I finally made a little calendar to put on her door, so we can all keep things straight), so we also spent a fair amount of time at the walk, learning about bending a little, and stopping/starting while keeping the head down and relaxed. We also began some elementary turns on the forehand, but this is a little hard for her. When she had trouble grasping the concept I got off and asked her from the ground. She has a little trouble with the concept of crossing her inside hind in front of the other and stepping to the side- I don’t doubt she will mentally pick it up quickly, I just think she’s physically still a little weak and not really flexible. So I will be adding some hind leg stretches to the carrot-stretch post ride routine.
And, because pictures always make blog posts more fun, but I don’t have any new Roselicious photos, here’s some grey horse nose: