August 4, 2011 Leave a comment
I’m taking Derby out to a schooling show next weekend. We’re not ready for much and are just going to do walk-trot tests. Why am I bothering? I’d like to take him out and about, and it will be fun to ride in a full size arena. On the up side, the new saddle is working well for him – he’s not sore and is working comfortably. But we have just two weeks of introductory work, and are just working up to 40 minute rides. Gait quality is an issue, my riding is still rusty and we both have a long way to go in terms of fitness.
Ugh, we are so not ready.
We’re focusing on getting Derby in front of my leg, gait quality and transitions in my lessons. The pressure of a show – even a schooling show – is undeniable because I’m a bit of a perfectionist and Type-A sort of critter. In actuality, this may work out well, because these three things – getting the horse forward and generating quality, correct gaits and riding lots of transitions are exactly what I need to get down to build Derby’s condition and move forward in our training.
But dang, I have a long road ahead of me.
For the last couple nights, Christy has had me focus on riding from my core, while also asking for forward, keeping my hands quiet and bending the horse into the outside rein. This is all basic stuff, and ten months ago, these movements were instinctive. Presently, that’s not the case. I feel like I’m multi-tasking and it’s tough.
Christy has been drilling me and man, I am feeling it. My abs are sore and my legs hurt too. I spent extra time giving Derby a little massage tonight and hand grazing, because I bet he’s feeling it too.
The instructions come rapid fire from the middle of the ring. Hold my reins. Steady my hands. Close my fingers. Leg on. Ask for more. Make it happen. NOW! Bend him. Inside leg. Come on, bend! There! Leg on!
I’m not expecting killer scores. I’ve decided that I will be happy if my test comments do not include the words “lacks energy.”
Importantly, the urgency of the looming outing is really helping me focus on forward, gait quality and transitions. Who knows when we will make our recognized debut – that is months and months away – but I promise you, we will be fit, forward and correct when that happens!
Now, off for a warm shower and some advil. Dang trainers.