Lately

Despite the fact that we're still slogging through one of the coldest late winter/early springs I can remember, Connor and I are putting in more time than ever these days.  I've bumped our rides up to four days a week, and though we haven't been able to get outside, I'm keeping it interesting with ground poles and, every once in a while, a couple of crossrails.  This weekend, I'm signed up for another visit from our pseudo-resident clinician, Cathy Jones Forsberg.  Just one ride instead of two, since the whole thing is against my better financial judgment, but I was signed up for it before our plumbing fiasco happened - not that I mind, since Cathy is awesome, and last time she saw us in the fall, we couldn't turn left.

Summer, where are you?
Since I haven't seen my trainer in three weeks due to work, our rides are beginning to feel a little flat.  Just yesterday I was able to get him working over his back for the first time in a few rides.  I know it's primarily because my trainer has been having me focus on my position lately, and I've been focusing more on internalizing these changes (posting up to my wrists, not collapsing my upper body, keeping my pelvis from tipping forward, keeping my lower leg steady and on him, not hanging on the left rein, improper rein use in general) because I know that when I get all that right, he goes wonderfully. We're still making progress, but I feel like I need a 'Wow!' lesson to feel good.  Anyone been there?

One thing that has helped is changing our warm-up.  I'm giving him more time at the walk and I'm waiting until his walk becomes free and his head is lowered and he's relaxed through his back, even if that takes a while. Then when I first ask for the trot, I do some very quick transitions to get him in front of my leg - for example, trot, one step of walk, trot.  He's also finally educated enough at the canter that I am able to add a tiny bit of it to our warm-up, and he's always stretching into the bridle and forward by the time we get done with that.  It feels good, and he feels more mature than ever.

Two weeks until the Hoosier Horse Fair!

6 comments:

  1. Definitely been there, many many times :-)

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  2. I am so jealous! This is when I really wish we had a sand arena. Our ground has been too wet to ride.
    Can't wait to hear how the fair goes.

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  3. I defi know what you mean i.e. lessons, though I typically have weeks of bad lessons and then that 1 glimmer of hope.

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  4. I know where you are coming from - I only get up to JC's every 3 weeks for a lesson.

    We are planning to go to HHF one day - we will be looking for you and Connor!

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  5. My friend's daughter rides with Cathy up in WI and they rave about her! A great lesson always makes you feel better, so I hope you have fun... And get pictures or video ;-)

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  6. Yeah, I definitely know what you mean about needing a "Wow!" lesson to feel motivated/inspired again. It's like knowing the hard work you're putting in is actually helping you improve. Try to video your rides, as you're probably doing more than you think, and in the meantime it can be that little "Look how good this is!" to keep you motivated

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