Mind Over Matter? Maybe?
October 19, 2011 3 Comments
I’m not sure why this is happening, but I’m riding better now than I have in a very long time, maybe ever. And the fact that this is coming after the horse and I both had two weeks off is especially confounding. But it’s undeniable. We’re better. The horse is forward, the contact is better, the gait quality is better, and – amazingly – I’m doing a pretty good job at sitting my transitions, and the transitions (especially upward to canter) are prompt and greatly improved. To wit:
Two weeks ago:
The canter work is even more significantly improved.
Two weeks ago:
I’m not sure why we’re suddenly producing better quality work – and to this degree.
– It has been cool and breezy, and a little wind under his tail might be propelling the Derbster forward.
– Along the same lines, I’m wearing larger spurs to better make my point, and Derby, to his credit, is getting good at saying “Yes, Ma’am!”
– We’re in a different bit and he is definitely taking stronger contact on it.
– I came home from the Dover clinic motivated and educated
– Christy is also similarly motivated and told me “It’s time to demand more…”
– The vet says I gotta do it.
I’m sure these are all contributing factors, though none explain my new found ability to sit my transitions. I guess I’ll quit ruminating and just take it.
So tonight Derby really worked. We started with the longing program prescribed by the vet, and then had a lesson about 45 minutes later. We took advantage of the empty arena to really encourage Derby to move out, both at the trot and canter. Leg yields and trot quality were the focus of the first half of the lesson. Christy had me ride the arena like a rectangle on the quarterlines, cutting straight across the short end and yielding out on each side. As we went through the exercise, Derby got more and more connected, which really is no surprise, given that I was half halting him through every corner, and again as we started the yields. Feeling the contact get stronger and his back come up up up was really cool.
For the canter work, the aim was to ride more forwardly and let Derby roll around the arena. However, we were both starting to run out of gas toward the end. We did get some nice quality work, though not as big and forward and rolling as I had hoped. We’ll give that another shot tomorrow!
After the ride I made a big fuss out of Derby, plying him with carrots, cookies, peppermints and an alfalfa mash. I think we’re friends again (he wasn’t thrilled when I saddled him up apres longing) and I’m looking forward to tomorrow night!