Monday, February 11, 2008

Lesson Update & Sunday Trail Ride

Friday - Round Pen, lunge on side reins 5&6, 4 - number of the day. Added three ground poles equidistant around the circle. Walk, trot, canter. Total 45 minutes. Very good work - He was in the mood to work, and I enjoyed watching him figure out how to avoid kicking the poles. [ I walked Romeo bareback around the yard for a time on Friday; had a *blast*... sometimes, it's great to kick back on the older quiet trail horse, not focusing on perfect balance & form. ]

Saturday, lesson. Caught early, round pen warm up on side reins (5&6). 2 - number for the day. Very good warm up.
Lesson was phenominal. Received plenty of praise for good heels down, good balance, sitting upright, nice fluid posting movement, nice light hands moving with his face. Lesson all at walk & trot, posting & sitting. We're moving on to sitting trot again, focusing on almost leaning behind his motion a little bit, trying to find my center to open & close hips with his motion. Overall, it was a wonderful lesson, and I got to show Robin the great progress he & I made last week.
After lesson, Robin hopped on, and showed me what I was doing. I got to see the difference between what I was doing, and what I need to be doing. I noticed she was almost leaning against the back of the saddle at sitting trot, something I haven't been doing. I've focused a bit on staying in the middle of the saddle, front to back, and if I mentally "lean up against" the back of the saddle, that really might help me use the back of my seat bones, and move more with him rather than against. Homework this week comes straight out of my Centered Riding text book, from Chapter 5, Anatomy, exercises involving torso & upper legs. I have riding exercises, and reading to complete before next Saturday.

Sunday, I caught Romeo, tacked up Western, little lunge line warm up, and walked him around a bit, waiting on Robin to arrive. She pulled in the drive way, spooked both horses a little with the truck banging. Chewie just unglued from there. He didn't want to be caught (running all over the pasture for about 5 minutes before walking right up to her). Robin saddled him dressage, took to round pen to "get the bugs out." Free lunge, he was still a little spooky. She got on, and we walked around, oh, for nearly an hour. Chewie was tense nearly the entire time. He spooked once good in the pasture, sprang forward about 1.5 feet, and just seemed real nervous. It carried over to Romeo, who started looking at everything Chewie looked at. I rode both before the day was over, and I stayed calm enough that nobody spooked or jumped out with me. It felt pretty good to see Chewie nervous, and feel him nervous under me, and with a few walk to halt transitions, on a loose rein, he really started to cool down.

Both horses will enjoy at least today off. I'm picking up a barn cat today, keeping her indoors for a few weeks until she realizes my house is "home", and stays near the house. Some little vermin monster ate part of an electrical wire under the house, which was repaired Friday. Hope that Nelda will serve a purpose of "mouser", and keep the vermin out in the woods where they belong. Will add pictures after I have some good ones.

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