A pair of rides to report on (finally).
We fit in a nice session on Tuesday while waiting for the farrier to arrive. Our warm-up was very effective, and brief. My focus was on soft, even, continuous, elastic contact. I rode a good deal of the ride with my eyes closed, which helped me concentrate on the feel of the contact. On the open eye parts, I kept my head up, looking through Val's ears where I wanted to go.
We did a ton of transitions, and worked a bit on leg yields as well. In a freshly dragged arena you can definitely see the results of lateral work. I tried to make space for Val to move into by opening my inside leg and rein, and having the feeling of a halt before I asked for the yields. I have a feeling that these will improve at the trot, as many things do when there is more energy.
Our trot work is (still) about more forward without nagging aids. I was very pleased with our school figures - there was fluidity and smooth changes of rein. We finished off with a few walk / canter departs. (dessert!) I even had time to clean all of my tack before W. arrived. Val took a nap on my shoulder as I cleaned. His head is soooo heavy!
On Sunday, guess who showed up? If you said crazy horse, you'd be right! I think he arrived along with the big winds, and the king of super loud cussing next door. (yes, I am once again complaining about my neighbor - I cannot wait until I can afford to screen him off with plants and/or big fencing!)
Val went from ants in his pants during tacking up, to full on nut job who reared and bolted twice, yanking the reins out of my hands and nearly tearing my finger off. (not even kidding) As much as I didn't feel like dealing with it, I knew there was no way I could avoid addressing this behavior, for his or my sake.
We did a some leading work around the arena. I quietly demanded Val's full attention on me - not the swishy trees at back of the property, or the noise and distractions next door. When I had that, I led him to the mounting block and got on. I made sure that I didn't block him with the reins. Lots of quick transitions. Keeping my seat "fat", all three points in contact with the saddle at all times - no perching. Also hugging lightly with my legs. After it was over, I was really glad we rode.
I haven't kept up with blogging as well as I want to these last few weeks. Keeping up with my (actual) responsibilities is super challenging these days. Besides riding, there have been several marathon yard work, weeding, planting sessions topped off today with an all day hay and feed run. (300 miles, 36 bales of hay, 6 sacks of feed, 8 1/2 hours) Plus a few snake encounters - only nice ones.
Oh, and I made a decision about what to name the farm. We're located adjacent to one of the last remaining maritime forests on the east coast, so I think it will be Edgewood. :)
|kiss my grass|