Yesterday I wanted to put in a schooling ride, since I have only been able to do some light hacks and hand-walking due to my insane new work schedule and the weather being uncooperative. I had planned on hauling Annie and Spud to the grounds to cut down on the time it would take to walk there and back. A friend from out of town is visiting and he loves driving Spud, so he came along to give Spud a good work out while I rode in the arena.
But this is one of my favorite pics!
Aaaand I have no new media...
All things considered, Annie was great to be tacked up along the highway. She didn't pay any of the speeding cars any attention and I was really pleased with this. I chose to hand-walk her into the grounds and bridle here when we were at the ring, just for safety reasons (ie. the highway). She hasn't given me a reason to not to trust her, and I always loop my reins over the neck before disconnecting the halter, but I still didn't want to tempt fate considering the stretch of bad luck and poor judgement calls I had already made.
|A buckle-rein (literally) hack in the pouring|
rain earlier this week.
|"I came here with a friend... wait... WHERE IS MY FRIEND?"|
We really worked a lot at the trot - developing that slooooow trot and getting her body to be a bit more manipulative. She fell out of the slower trot a few times and kind of dove forwards, especially in the corners (balance issues), but was able to be brought back relatively quickly. She had a few short moments wherein I realllly had to half halt her and say, "NO." but nothing major - which was more in the first part of our ride. By the end, she was trotting along at a reasonable pace, although did not feel super adjustable (in the sense of extending and coming back quietly for a working trot).
Our leg yields were kinda icky... she drifted herself to the track a few times - stupid me forgot to implement leg yields away from the track like K had mentioned during my lessons - and other times her ass swung out. Sometimes it can be hard to remember everything!
I played a lot with a few different exercises - serpentines with walking in the middle, 10m trot circles, extended trot across the diagonal (I call it an "extension" but we both know it's more like RUN RUN RUN RUN BREAK INTO CANTER RUN RUN).
|If this gif was in trot, it would be pretty accurate.|
On her left lead, I found myself squeezing too much on my outside rein and remembered to LET HER GO and rode each stride as if I were going over a jump - she powered forward and although she was going too fast, it was good to establish that forward energy.
I do feel like I rushed a lot of the work we did in the arena, which is something that I will need to work on. It didn't help that I was already having a frustrating day and had wanted to be home at a certain time. Still, it is important to stay with her and to continue to ask for XYZ. It can be hard, especially when you don't get instant results, but it pays off in the end when you get that moment a few minutes later. So, something to work on and remember for our next ride.
|I think this gif is appropriate for the both of us, Micayla|
Still, I was pleased that I was able to piece things back together as they fell apart and get some of that quality of work we had gotten when I had "all eyes on me".
Do you have a hard time riding on your own vs in lessons? Do you tend to come up with a pre-determined idea of what kind of exercises you will do during your ride or do you see what kind of horse you have before you make a plan? Or do you just wing it and implement what exercises you feel are right for the time? Any helpful tips or ideas?