Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Back in the Saddle Again

I did it!  I rode my Beautiful, albeit dirty, pony last night!  I wasn't planning on it, I was only planning on lunging him for a few minutes each way due to him just starting back to work this week.

He was so good on the line, even though he stayed in all day.. which is a misunderstanding I hope is corrected today, otherwise I am going to have to find another solution.  One of the things I will NOT compromise on any longer is good turn out.  Having had good turnout the last 5 months, I have seen what a HUGE difference it has made for him in his state of mind, behavior and overall well being.  If I can't have the turnout, then I will have to move him back to Snohomish and leave the riding until I get my place finished as I will NOT have him locked up each day, only coming out to work.

Off of my rant.  Back to the riding story.  So my trainer/friend was riding her youngster and said, why don't you just get on and walk and see how he does?  I really, really wanted to, so I thought..... NO WAY umm okay,  and if he is at all worried about it or seems that it is too much, I will hop right back off. 

Well I hopped on, and we walked, walked some more, and finally attempted did figure eights at a nice walk and then.. I asked for a little trot and did a nice couple of 20 meter circles on the right track.  WOW!  I was back.. He was back..Then..reality set in we fell apart.  I asked for the trot on the left track.. The left track is harder for both of us.  I am not sure why  it is the weaker side for both of us.  He does not care to bend to the left and I tend to collapse to the left and pull and get discombobulated.  What I can do on the right.. it is like I completely lose everything when we go to the left.  I pulled it together for about three strides and called it good.  I walked him out and hopped off, then walked him some more.  I gave him lots of hugs and praise for being such a good boy after so long off. 

Then I cleaned a stall, washed off a blanket, put his jammies on and put him to bed.  Self Care is so much better.  I am going to the barn every day now and seeing what is happening.  Before, at a full care facility, I may not even have known if he was turned out.  This way, I am on top of everything.

Also, in less than two weeks, my equine nutritional consultant is coming.  I attended a class that she talked at and I was completely intrigued.  I can't wait to see what she has to say regarding his diet and what I can do to help the budget and keep him at optimal health.  I am making him a Bran Mash this evening.  I know he will dig that! 

I am very proud of myself for getting on the pony.  I tend to be a little worried after being off for such a period of time, but I did notice how much more relaxed I was off the bat, and I did LESS with my hands.  This is a GOOD thing in Dressage... Leg  more, Hands less.. Outside rein to inside leg.. I tried to remember that as my mantra.. and the other thing that helps me.. because I have a "hotter" horse.. LEG ON.. and Tempo.. especially in the trot.. I do a type of metronome in my head.. 1 2 1 2 1 2 with it being.. 1.....2.....1.....2.... to slow down and I keep that thinking, while only rising in the saddle what he pushes me to .. and it REALLY helps.. of course adding in still hands and a long leg.. Yeah.. RIGHT.. Tempo first.. then we work on the other things.

For you non riders that read my blog, if you have made it to here.. THANK YOU..LOL.. as I know the horses and dressage can be very foreign for those who do not take part. (Mcgyver doesn't understand the fascination at all).. I will have to post on that sometime.. the fact that we bought a house with a barn and an arena is a testament to how far he has come and how much he must really love me.

For any riders.. What exercises do YOU use with your horse to condition, supple and get some relaxation going in your warm ups?  Inquiring Minds want to know!  Please leave a comment, Thank you!

1 comment:

dressagerider said...

You changed your template, bought a house and rode! So many fabulous things are happening! Try some serpentines and spiral in/out on a circle as additional suppling exercises. If he's still not connecting to the outside rein you could try a few 10 meter circles at a walk.

Remember it's inside leg to outside rein.

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