Tearing myself away ….
November 6, 2011 1 Comment
Just when things were getting really good, I have to take a (very) short break from riding. Short, as in two days. And really, I’m only “losing” one day, since Derbs gets his fall shots and dentistry on Monday, and would have the day off due to the vet work, whether or not I was in town. That said, the day is dawning sunny, and promises to be warm (for November.) It would be an awesome day to ride, but I’m on the way to the airport this morning.
While I don’t want to give the impression that all of my problems are solved – far far from it! – it has been a gratifying week. The work we did in my lesson (see “Tightening the Screws“) awakened me to the fact that I have been letting Derby steal rein – when I’m not just flat out throwing the reins at him – and I was putting him on his forehand. Since that lesson, I can feel when this is happening, and while I still need a few strides to organize, think, take hold, half halt and close legs and engage core and hold contact and go now, horse! go! …. the good news is that I can get remedy the situation.
Our last couple rides have been really nice. On Friday, the highlight was a nice, relaxed, rolling canter that felt balanced, and that I was able to influence. Yesterday, the highlight was more canter work – transitions on a 20m c ircle. We had a couple crap transitions that I knew were my fault, not Derby’s. So I put him on a circle, got a nice, balanced trot going, and then rode some transitions. As long as we stayed organized, they felt effortless. Clearly, I need to work on managing and maintaining quality and balance through and between gaits – obviously, since this is really kind of a key component to a successful test. I’m really happy with the quality of the gaits recently. My rides this week have been really fun – it’s tough to get on a plane to leave, even if it is just a short trip.