Back to the Drawing Board

Last night’s riding lesson proved to be a frigid affair. I am not sure I can blame everything on the temperature alone but dag gonnit I can sure try. Coming off a magical pre-thanksgiving lesson where Spratty and I connected in ways I never knew possible, this week left much to be desired. I couldn’t relax my legs long and kept nagging with my calves at the trot; I barely got a passable lengthen over some poles; my leg yields were dead and unbalanced; and my canters were crooked and rushy. Meanwhile, I sat there like frozen sack of potatoes expertly proving the theory that rider warm-up is just as crucial as warming up the horse. Lesson learned. Of course Sprat was tolerant of my idiocy and calmly tried to give me the ride I was searching for–except that one part where he channelled his inner 4-year-old and decided to be scared of a cone. Ah well, there’s always next week. Keep your fingers crossed that temps will be a bit kinder to me.

Cones are freakin scary


On a positive note, my trainer has been working with Brego (younger friesian x saddlebred gelding I mentioned in a previous post) and he has been doing really well! She said she’d like to put me back on him soon. HUGE yay.

Brego, isn't he handsome.



Pre-Holiday Lesson

After being forced to take a week off from riding due to work I was feeling extremely discouraged come Wednesday night last week. The weather was crummy (sleet then snow) and I wasn’t sure I should really be driving my compact car all the way to the barn at night. I was itching to ride and really would have done anything short of life-endangerment so I was weighing my options up until the very last-minute when I decided I was going to my lesson come hell or high water…er….snowdrift. Thank goodness I did. The drive wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be and I arrived with plenty of time to groom and tack Spratty. I even got to use the brand new WEG saddle pad I gifted to my barn owners for schooling use. Very Nice! Sprat was a complete gentleman and nicely forward for the most part during our lesson. We did plenty of lateral work and I got some really excellent steps leg yielding at the trot. We did some haunches in at the walk which went ok, and then we did some at the trot. It took me a couple tries to get my body in the right spot and good old Sprat looked like a limber 10-year-old again! Ultimately, I think  I connected a lot of dots in my own head about how much my hips mean compared to leg and reins. It felt really “on”, very rhythmic at certain points. I love it when I can taste a little progress.

When we were untacking and grooming the horses I spent some time loving on Spratty, more for me but I hope it felt good to him too. He was warm but not sweaty so I did some very gentle stretches and a bit of massage- certainly nothing invasive, I just wanted to be close to him. I had this overwhelming feeling of “gosh, I want one of these”. Sprat is just such a gentleman and he always tries- a truly wonderful schoolmaster. I suppose it could have been momentary intoxication from the sweet, earthy smell rising from Sprat’s warm body- this might actually be my favorite scent in the whole world. There is nothing that puts me in a better mood than burying my face into the neck of a clean, warm horse. It was just the night I needed to start off my holiday weekend right!