Literally. Arena dragged, riding clothes on, Val groomed and tacked up. Who should appear, but a crew of camo outfitted, gun toting teenagers jumping out of a van next door, (picture a circus clown car), itching for a paint ball battle. The guns aren't a problem really, they're rather quiet, but the camo'd up, mask wearing kids crashing through the brush next to our arena... that's more than I can take.
Fallback to ground work. I've got Val moving his hindquarters around and stepping under freely, sort of an in-hand turn on the forehand. Now I'm attempting to get him to move his shoulders around while pivoting on his hindquarters. I've rewarded any lateral motion I get up front, but am unsure how to encourage keeping the back legs still. One step at a time... ;)
Yesterday was absolutely miserable weather-wise. It drizzled non stop, except when it was all out pouring. I spent the day on a major landscaping side job that will help pay for this summer's hay. I got soaked, but it wasn't too bad, and I finished up in time to ride this afternoon, just as the sun came out.
Val was majorly distracted during grooming and tacking up, but we eventually managed to get our minds on our jobs. (and today, we were all about the canter) After warming up, some transitions and big walk, I checked out the go button for trotting. My aids were answered immediately, and occasionally, with a canter depart.
How delightful is that?! I wasn't even planning on working on the canter, but apparently my horse wanted to. Val has a beautiful canter, and I cannot wait until I am able to do him justice in my riding of it.
The other day I paid no attention to whether we had the correct lead or not. Today, I noticed that we got it right all but once. I'm sure that was pure-D luck. My focus was still the depart, and my position, which will without a doubt require me to video myself, as I am so overwhelmed by our new gait I feel like I have no control over my body. I suspect that I need to sit back, or rather, not lean forward.
As a young girl, I studied classical piano, rather rigorously. My teacher entered me in a number of competitions. I was constantly having to memorize long, complicated pieces of music. Lots of pressure. One day, after having recently discovered Scott Joplin, I brought in the sheet music for the Maple Leaf Rag.
"Do you think I could learn this one next?"
"No dear, playing that music is pleasuring yourself at the piano."
This afternoon as I let Val canter around the ring, I felt like I was "pleasuring myself" in the arena.
And I liked it. :)
I'm going to take a picture of us after every ride from now on.
One day, when I'm old and grey... when I can't haul my ass up into the saddle anymore,
I will look at these pictures, read these words, and think what a lucky girl I am. :)