The well-needed break from the arena came to an end Thursday evening - I messaged another person who boards their horse in the area and asked if she wanted to join me. We agreed to meet up after I was done work and unfortunately, by the time I got out to tack up Annie R was already waiting for me at the end of the driveway since work had run a bit longer than anticipated. It wasn't a huge deal, so I went and got tacked up.
|Post-ride and we were soaked!|
Annie was pretty excited and walked quite fast but stopped dead in her tracks when she was Colby. It was a little funny.
|"Wait... what... where did you come from?" -Annie|
When we made it to the arena, it started to rain pretty good, but I figured a good school wouldn't hurt anything. The sand was a bit wet and mushy, but not enough to suck Annie's hooves in or cause any issues. I had to dismount to get into the ring and when we got in there, a makeshift jump out of a piece of wood and tires spooked Annie. We wandered over and she blew hard at it before realizing it was a inanimate object and it was certainly not going to kill her.
Aside from being very forward and kind of running on her forehand, she did really, really well. It took me a few laps to re-establish a slower but more harmonic trot and once we had that, she was responding quite well. Our turning cues have suffered a bit tho - she feels kind of rusty moving off my leg and bending and doing all the things. I didn't really push it - we haven't schooled at all since September 3 and mare has lost a lot of muscle tone/fitness. She's a young lady who hasn't even been undersaddle a year, so I cut her a lot of slack and just made bigger circles or kept asking her to move off the leg. As we get back into the swing of things, I'll start demanding more perfection, but for now it isn't worth a fight and so long as the effort is there, I reward it.
|Bending, balance and rhythm? Thanks but no thanks.|
I rode it out tho and just laughed, continuing to ask her to just trot forward while she bounced beneath me. I abandoned the idea of getting a canter for a bit and just rode figures and serpentines all around the arena. Her brain firmly planted back into her skull and when I asked again and she got the lead just fine.
I finished the ride in the ring by patting her for getting the right lead after her brain explosion and went back to do a few more trotting figures. I have been trying to train my brain to finish the schooling session on another gait like walk or trot, as opposed to the canter (which I typically save for the end portion). After that, we walked down to the other side of the arena where Colby and R were riding and I decided to pop Annie over a haphazardly designed jump someone else must have set up. It was a large 2x10 chunk of wood sitting on two tires. The chunk of wood was pretty small, so it made the jump more of a skinny than a regular vertical, so I wasn't sure how Annie would take it. We trotted over it in both directions and Annie popped over like it was a total non-event.
|On the hack home, I was videoing her|
sans reins and she evidently came to a screeching
halt to grab some green lol.
The hack back home was uneventful - she plodded along on a loose rein and we even did some long-rein trotting on the shoulder of the road where there is sand and she obliged back to a walk when we rounded the corner for home.
By the end of it, both of us were completely soaked from the rain, but I felt really content and happy with her performance. Sometimes it isn't about getting that damned right lead, and sometimes you have little blips of progress, but the overall picture is shaping up to be something I am so excited for.
Sidenote, please do not forget about the contest I am holding for a blogger header! I have received a few entries, but do know quite a few people were trying to get some in. I am going to extend the contest by a few more weeks just to see if I can get a few more to trickle in. The final deadline will be: OCTOBER 21st!
Remember - there is a fully customized bonnet for the winner from If The Bonnet Fits!
And, for those who may not be totally crafty at Photoshop or other programs, SHARE the original contest post for your chance to win a bridle charm from Beka!