Monday, April 26, 2010

4/25/10 The Application

Another chorus of Veggie Tales.. And so what we have learned applies to our lives today..
oop! *cough* .. *clearing throat* sorry there, folks. Back in action & back on track here.. I'll post a little later today perhaps of a story of Romeo regaining his place of trust with me, but for now..

Late in the day, after the yard was mowed, after the weeds were pulled, flower beds watered, laundry done, bed sheets washed & replaced, I finally got some time in on Ransom. I gathered him up in all his dressage glory, as we're planning to show this coming Sunday.

With all things in the arena, I gave R a quick lesson on how to hold the line & lunge Ransom. This will be particularly beneficial later maybe this week, but for sure next, as I will get back on the line to practice hands-free & stirrup-free hunt saddle. Ransom was ridiculously agreeable. babysitter!

I hopped aboard, and gave him a nice neat warm up. Walking flexed in at out at the rail, circles, serpentines at trot, figure eights of varying sizes at trot, and finally a little long rein canter. Ransom let me know he was "ready for action" by reaching down into the bit at the canter, long, low, and still working through his back. Felt pretty good - him hauling it down the long sides, me sitting straight upright & purdy.

I rode him through Training #1, and without hesitation, he started reminding me this test isn't new - he remembers the parts and where things happen. Well, it was either that, or he was reading my mind. I'm going to test that out a little tonight, because if he's reading even the subtle cues in my brain, getting transitions at the letters could be a challenge. The test wasn't entirely stickie, with only a yuckie transition or two. Otherwise, he settled in nicely.

Then I focused a little on posting to sitting trot, working on keeping my upper body upright straight, and still loose enough in my hips that he'd go forward. This will still take more work - I had the sit going great, but Ransom shortened his stride considerably - maybe a by-product of old hunter/jumper flat classes, where I think this is acceptable. To improve his motion, and keep me loose, I finished up our sitting trot work without stirrups. I stuffed some stirrup-free canter in there, as well.

To let him stretch his brain, and not work hard collected the entire ride, I dropped all the way to the buckle, settled into a nice trot, and tested out my "airplane arms". Magic,, just absolute magic. I glanced down to see the reins flapping out and in and out and in, with every trotting stride. They didn't flap side to side together, but both out, or both in - I think a sign of a nice even steady trot. Regardless, the arms out, reins flapping, we went both ways, mostly long sides only, just picking up reins at the buckle to guide him around at the rail. Once he got the point of the work, he even made full laps without my even touching the reins. Neat!

Finally, to make sure things had loosened up in his muscles, and there wasn't some train-wreck part needing work all week, I did some collected transitions for all three gaits, both ways. Stellar! We argued once in trot to canter left, as either my cue wasn't solid, or Ransom was getting lazy, because he extended the trot, got really bouncy & ugly, but wouldn't pick up canter. Squiggles! I thumped him, got a good circle full at canter, slowed to trot, then asked again. Much better Monster! Good deal!

As I said, we're competing this coming weekend. Sunday, at Freestyle Farms, the same place we took in our first show together last year. I've also decided to join the local Dressage Society, so now we're dead-set serious. I'm going to ride, I'm going to compete, and darn it (!), I want to be good at it! =)

tee hee hee hee,, who wants to dig up an old terrified ride blog, and compare notes?

Back to the purpose of the airplane arms- I got really really upright, and was able to focus

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