Monday, February 2, 2009

1/31/09 Loose Reins & Cowboys

After getting some truck-brake repair, Les and I headed for my house, and gathered Ransom.

Wheee!! His warm-up was short, and easy. Ransom totally had work on his mind, and I was anxious to hop on. Starting out at the trot, Les said to me, "It looks like he's pulling you forward. Is it supposed to be like that? Loosen your reins a little, and let's see what happens." I let my reins out a few inches, they went to flapping loose. o O ( We're in a circle ) O o I thought o O ( What could he possibly do wrong in this little circle ) O o Les and I briefly discussed the differences between an English body position and Western body position. He might be starting to understand that my "shoulders / hip / heel" alignment has a purpose...

Ransom almost immediately dropped his neck & bent at the poll, settling into a beautiful trot. It was light & floaty, ground-covering, and, I was sitting straight upright! No more of that bending-forward carp I habitually ride into. Les exclaimed, "All this time, I thought you were leaning forward. It was never that. He's pulling you forward, asking for more rein. Now you know, if you feel pitched forward, let out your reins. He's giving you a cue to get you sitting back upright."

o O ( So THAT'S what Ransom's been telling me all this time. I thought he was just avoiding bit contact. He was asking to stretch down & pretty. Much easier that way than fighting him into the contact. ) O o

We finished up our ride with a little canter, and me happy. Unfortunately, my right thigh is not so happy. I had a teensie tiny ittie bittie hole in my TuffRider Cotton Pull on Breeches. My favorite winter riding pants - heavy cotton, dark blue, just held up well in cooler weather. That teensie tiny ittie bittie hole was right underneath the stirrup cover flap. It managed to grab just enough skni through that little hole, tearing my skin up. OWCHIE! I'm sporting a little bandaid there now (which unfortunately came off during Sunday's lesson.. dang it - Must find another way to cover owwie until it heals). Total work about 30 minutes, keeping it light for Sunday's lesson.

Grabbed Romeo, hooked up the trailer, and headed out. On the highway to Les's, BANG! Another trailer tire blew. That's three now... Only got one more to go before I'll have a set of four new ones. Dangit! Changed the tire, and headed back out.

Stopped at Les's house to grab two of his horses, and Shorty, and headed to the arena. The guys roped, I watched, pushed cows, and had fun. Romeo was great. Les rode him first, and while they disagreed about the gas/brake, Romeo settled into a light canter, and a good stop. He gave me a great ride.

I discovered one cause of our turn on haunches problems. ME! Asking for the turn, I started to think through my whole body, head to toe. When I got to my upper torso, it hit me - I'm leaning forward. With my leg still on him, I leaned back to -upright-, and Romeo swiftly started to turn. Planted that back hoof, and turned right on the spot. WOW! Little fart... he's been holding out on me. That's okay, he was waiting for me to get it right... little fart.

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