Ride # 5 06/08/2010
After 30 plus days at the trainers, Ricky has finally made it home. Our first ride was in yesterday's rain. We walked from Ricky's barn across the fields to a friend's indoor arena. I learned that Ricky does not care for mud and it somewhat terrified of cows. The ride was long, and I tried to work on too much stuff at once. I must lower my expectations. But we flexed both left and right, walked, trotted and cantered. Had some issues maintaining balance in the corners at a canter and as usual her shoulders drop in on almost each turn.
I need to concentrate on maintaining a consistent rein length and rein feel. I need to keep my hands on her withers and not move them. I am struggling to find a comfortable level of connection because she's all over the place with her head and neck. When Ricky is moving her head and neck all around as we work, its because she's trying to find the perfect place to balance both of us. She's trying like hell, but its going to take some time. I am trying to helping her by maintaining a deep and steady seat. Its very difficult to keep my hands steady. That bugs me. I was always proud of what good hands I had (20 some years ago).
We walked home in the rain through the fields, me at her side, as I was too tired to be a confident rider. Spooked at the cows again and whinnied to mother on the way past. A bluebird circled us two times, making the afternoon end with a touch of beauty and promise for better days.
Ride # 6 06/09/2010
Today, it was sunny, the ground was soft, but not too bad. Ricky and I tacked up and headed to the back pasture. A lot of walking today. 40 some minutes of figure eights and serpentines all off the leg. Very little rein contact and absolutely no connection. This bugs me to no end.
Trying to pick up the bit and leave it at a certain point in order to encourage her to give, but the reins slide from my fingers and when she stretches her neck and takes the bit, I am left with spaghetti. I'll use some tape to mark my reins so I can easily relocate where I'm trying to hold. Trotted until we could do a few nice circles without bowing all the way out. Intermittent flexing and standing still too.
No canter was attempted.
A few blatant moves toward the gate. and resisting the bit.
Resistance to move from shade to sun.
Ended our lesson with a short walk down the driveway and to whinny at mother and then back and inside for a rubdown and yummy oats. A good day.