I had a make-up lesson on Saturday and enjoyed an early afternoon ride on a very spring-ish day! I wore just a thin long-sleeve shirt under a fleece vest and broke in a new pair of gloves!
My trainer gave me the choice to ride Louie or McPherson. I picked McPherson because well trained equine validation is the best I’m super greedy why would I not?!
We laughed at what a huge surprise it was NOT when I came in the arena with the obvious choice. I am just feeling a little momentum in my training and I needed to ride that wave a little longer while I can!! Mc is helping exponentially in easing my anxiety towards canter transitions.
Saturday we worked on a lot of sitting trot and really prompt, balanced, walk-trot transitions. My hips and abs are still crying.
We continued our canter work and I nailed some super canter departs and down transitions. There were a few moments I noticed him rushing if I was tense. I realized I was holding my breath while trying to focus on the half-halts and transitions and the second I reminded myself to breathe, Mc would immediately come back to me. It felt great. Since things were going well, my trainer asked me to try something new (to me)- counter canter. We turned on the quarter-line, changed bend ever-so-slightly, counter cantered a few strides, then transitioned back down to walk before turning onto the short side. I was pleased with the result for my first time trying it because it feels so wrong. It wasn’t perfect, and I didn’t get it every time, but overall it was a successful exercise. When I got it right she would sometimes ask me to then pick up the correct canter lead going into the next corner.
Once I was able to get the counter canter on the long side quarter-line, she wanted me to try picking up the counter canter and then cantering the short diagonal to finish on the correct lead onto the short side.
For some reason I was having a lot of trouble doing this exercise tracking left just on one side of the arena. This was a blessing in disguise because my trainer described what was going wrong and I got to puzzle it out on how to fix it. She said I was giving the correct aids and the timing was good enough, but coming out of the corner, too much of his weight was remaining on his outside shoulder and he wouldn’t be able to pick up the counter canter with so much weight on that shoulder. Adding a few steps of counter-bend, on a circle before the exercise, rebalanced Mc and helped free up that shoulder and we did finally get that last exercise. It wasn’t super pretty because my geometry into the corner was a fail…but we got it, and had a lovely down transition to end on.
Heat wave + canter + full winter coat =
Now, where is my hairdryer?
I have to miss my lesson this week for work travels (nowhere fun, either). And I didn’t ride Sunny this weekend because his owner actually got out to ride him! Her first ride back since having her first baby. She said he was a little sassy (no!? lol) but pretty good. I’ll still ride him for a little while longer as she continues to heal. I don’t want to jump the gun, but I am also working on another lease arrangement and the timing could be perfect! But, we shall see, I don’t like to get my hopes up…ever. Self-preservation thing…
I’ll keep you all in the loop!