Friday, May 22, 2009

5/21/09 Ransom

Worked with Ransom on all the same basics, with plenty of effort. I had my mp3 player going in my ears, and it turned out, for the first time, I needed music with more energy! See, for years, I've been leaning on New Age instrumental stuff like George Winston and Enya. I needed the slower music to calm my mind, and focus on my posting energy. Yeah, well, the slower the music got, the slower Ransom got. At one point, I took my earbuds out, and started to post freely with his motion, and he got bigger strided. How funny! So, I pulled out the Daughtry and Fiona Apple, and got back to my ride. His forward motion improved considerably.

We warmed up solid, then sprung into some canter sets. His left canter was a bit ugly, but nothing I can't stick with. Heading right, I didn't have heels-down in the transition, so I dropped my outside stirrup. Laughing, I let go of the left one, and kept cantering. We not only cantered two solid circles without, I made it almost the whole trip around the arena, before legging my inside leg drift loose, and he quickly broke to trot. LOL What a funny! I was giggling at the canter, heading around the arena in collection, without stirrups. I noticed without them going right, I had my upper leg solidly on my horse. Heading left, I wasn't able to capture quite the same feeling.

While I was cantering without stirrups, it wasn't but about three or four strides of trot before I started losing balance and had to retrieve them. Wonder what's going on there... Something to think about for the next ride.

Ransom and I worked for nearly an hour, focusing near the end on lots of transitions. Rather than stay on the circle, I travelled all the way around the arena on the rail. I mixed it up a lot, changing gait from walk & trot often, and in different places. We had some beautiful transitions, and some nasty ones. For the really pretty ones, I'd stay in trot only a short while before transition to walk, and if the down transition was good, too, I'd walk a few strides on collection, and let the reins out completely, with a solid "atta boy" and a pat.

About half way through the ride, we were both getting bored & distracted, so I changed it up a bit. Heading right at trot, heading towards the barn, once, I lifted to 2-point, and Ransom immediatley went back to being a hunter-horse. Cute! His trot stride lengthened, lengthened, and by the first short-side corner, he was nearly in a canter. So I squeezed him up into it, allowing him to canter the circle in 2-point, and it was pretty darn incredible! He wasn't collected by any stretch of imagination, and though not "dressage-beautiful", and quite fast-feeling, I still felt like I had control. It was pretty darn cool! I slid back to my seat, told him, "shhhh buddy..." sat like a rock, and he slid down to a trot, then down to a walk. Licking, chewing, and a big sigh, we rested with a long rein walk.

Finished up the ride with some solid stretching down trot from back in my days riding with Sam. Outside rein contact, inside pulse, and for every stretch down, release inside rein totally. Ransom picked up on the game quick, and we had some awesome long & low stretches to cool down our ride.

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