May 2, 2012 5 Comments
The chief culprit to my recent difficulties seems to be back soreness, so Derby has had the last few days off. I got on last night, and we had a much better ride. We’re clawing our way back but he’s still a bit resistant, and my riding needs to improve. However, I do have some hope that we won’t embarrass ourselves too badly this weekend.
While the soreness was causing the resistance, Christy observed that I also have problems with my “go” button. As in it needs to be reinstalled. Derby does not motor along at a consistent pace – he stalls out and slows down, and this is my fault. Maintaining pace is a primary responsibility of the horse. So I paid attention last night and issued corrections (in the form of a good old Pony Club kick) when Derby stalled out. He got the picture quickly and did a much better job holding his pace, requiring fewer reminders from me.
This problem isn’t solved by any short stretch – I also need to get and keep him in front of my leg when we halt because he’s actually starting backing on me which, as Christy puts it, is a serious offense and doesn’t lead to anything good. Last night he was doing this and I booted him forward. He leapt into a canter, and we stayed there for a while (it’s important to not shut them down when they offer a forward response, even if it is more enthusiastic than what was requested.) And after that, we seemed (for the moment at least) to be over the backing nonsense.
So, backing issues not withstanding, we’re heading back in the right direction. 5 more days. Awesome.