Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Morning Rides are the Best Rides

Thanks to some work schedule jiggling to accommodate an evening class on Tuesdays, I now get to start work at 8:30 once a week. Which turns out to be a wonderful thing, as this morning, being the first Tuesday of this new arrangement, I woke up, dressed and headed out to Moon by 7 am. I gave him a quick grooming (little guilty that it wasn't a full out grooming, but at least he was relatively clean and mud free), saddled and bridled him. Even managed to bring along the video camera to capture some of our ride.

7:15 am I was on his back, and we were doing some walking warm-ups in the ring. I really focussed on getting him to bend, but he just wanted to trot. So instead of trying to force him to hold the walk, I moved up to the trot and worked on our left bending from that gait.

Two awesome things...

1. At the trot, he actually reached down and began stretching out like we practiced last week in my lesson. Not only that, but he was starting to do it consistently when I asked. What I need to remember, is that I have to OPEN my inside hand, not just a little bit, but a bit exaggerated (to me, really it's maybe 8" from his neck). When I fail to open it, I don't get the stretch or bend I'm looking for.

2. He has a BEAUTIFUL trot. When I got him bending and suppling at the trot to the left, he gave me an amazing trot I didn't even know he had. It was SMOOTH like butter, and I sat it without the slightest problem.

I've been struggling for a long time in getting a nice sitting trot. I've been told it's because I'm too stiff in the hips and don't 'flow' with the horses movements. It's been frustrating to me, and I've worked hard on it, but I just can never really master a continuous, nice looking sitting trot. Until today.

Going around with him, bending, I just felt like I was floating. It was actually EASIER to sit his trot then to post, and I could have reached down and kissed him for it!

Headed to the right was a different story. Way more difficult, and from a trot, we had nothing but high-headed rushing. Makes me frustrated, which I think makes things worse. In this direction, running low on time and wanting to make sure we ended successfully, I put him back at a walk, and worked until he was bending and reaching full the bit at this slow pace. It wasn't perfect and he was slower to get there, but got there he did.

With that I called it a day. Okay, took him over a small cavaletti for the fun of it, and then untacked my boy. Gave some nose kisses, treats and another brushing. Picked out the hooves for a second time, pulled some straw from his mane and tail and promised to be back the following day for 'class'. He's such a pretty horse, now with his shedding nearly done, all smooth and soft.

Back in the car by 7:50 am, and at work by 8:30 on the nose.

Felt AMAZING to go out in the spring sun before the afternoon heat showed up, ride, and then show up for work, the smell of horse still lingering. Feel accomplished. And it didn't even interrupt my day. Next Tuesday, I think I'll go out even earlier.

Now for the rest of the week to be rain-free, so I can get 3-rides in on one week! Talk about training!

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