October 23, 2011

10/20 Ride

It has been such a crazy week and weekend that I wasn't able to even post about my ride until now.

I have been riding Mr Perfect (aka Mr P or P when I'm feeling lazy). I feel like we have had more productive rides in our short time together. I am still getting use to riding alone and not having someone telling me what I should be doing for exercises.

So I tacked up Mr P, which in iteslf took longer then it should have (I grabbed the wrong saddle) and I just felt that for some reason it was going much slower then need be. So finally after he got a nice groom and tacked up we headed out to the outdoor arena. It was a little windy but I figure there are only so many nice days left and I might as well enjoy the outdoors.

We started by doing the warm up routine that I usually do with any horse. Which consists of walking around the arena on the ground in both directions, and at random times having Mr P halt/walk/trot at random times besides me. Some people may not consider this an important thing to do but I like to use it as a judge of where the horses mind is. From the start I could tell that Mr P was in la-la-land. He was hollaring for his friends in the paddock and didn't like the idea of being out by himself with the mean girl (that's me haha).

After a few rounds I hopped on and, this seems to be a very common occurrence, my stirrups weren't the right length. Believe it or not this is something I usually have troubles with. Getting my stirrups to the right length but also feels right. After a little bit I got my stirrups to what felt like to the correct spot.

Next we walked around while I tried to get Mr P to move his toosh into a decent walk and to get his nose out of outer space and get some bend. Mr P has a tendency to bend to the inside instead of the outside and it's tricky (well for at least to me, I'm sure that any experienced rider could fix this easily) for me to get the inside bend. I usually think *okay give with the outside rein a little, shorten the inside rein a little, now press lightly with inside leg to give him something to bend around* This process, at best, gets Mr P into no bend (better than an outside bend right?). Oh but dangit his nose is still in outer space, okay maybe it's in this atmosphere now but still not in the right spot.

Now that we are some what collected off to the trot. A nice slow trot to begin with (Mr P has a very bouncy trot but when he slows down and engages his buttocks his trot is actually decent). After a few rounds of the arena his trot gets worse and just speedy with his nose in the air. I realize he is probably anticipating for me to ask for canter (I try to avoid asking for the canter if he is speedy).

We really worked a lot at the trot, since I have been having trouble at the canter (mostly with transitioning down and having complete control) and I wanted to work on our foundation before the canter. Thanks Dom for the advice!

I like to believe I am good at not doing the same boring thing. I mixed things up by instead of following the wall, going down the middle line, and then maybe turning in the middle of the long side instead of going fully across, oh and lets throw some circles in there too! I am sure I could be better at this, but it's a start.

So fast foward to the cantering. I have noticed a few rider errors when we canter.
1) My inside (it's always the inside leg in either direction) comes out of the stirrup or the stirrup ends up in the middle of my foot, 90% of the time. I think this is because I am not putting enough weight in my stirrups and I really tried focusing on that when cantering.
2) For some reason I just COMPLETELY forgot the second thing...good going Stasha! haha.

I know I have a LONG ways to go in my riding but I like to think I am making some progress.

Thanks for reading :)

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