It has been forever and a day since I wrote my last "Riding Diary", so without further ado...
Horse: Quiz! (aka princessbabymarefacecutie)
Time: 1 Hr
Ride: So, this was the first time i've ever ridden in our outdoor arena, in 25 c weather, at 630 at night - NO LESS. How awesome! Aside from the thumb sized mosquitos that are already plaguing us, and our horses, what a wonderful day to be riding! I was in a t-shirt, I could feel sun on my face.. life was good.
My ride predominately went really well, I've pretty much been "off" of riding this month, other than a couple little rides here and there, and a pretty disastrous lesson at the beginning of the month, so I was a little worried. Compound that with Quiz's (thought-to-be) mini abscess last week, and the fact my muscles, especially tummy, are all jiggly balls of goo, I expected it to be a bit of a train-wreck.
Maybe the Sun-gods were on my side.. who knows. Warm up went well, they were excavating a pond in the back pasture by the arena, so there were bob-cats, quads and tractors, and although Quiz's ears were a little like "uhm, what is that?" she sailed on through. Plus, I've noticed I'm becoming more and more natural in my posting trot. I think I'm becoming more aware of the big picture of rider + horse.
We started at a jog, and moved into the lope. My trainer commented that Quiz was settling down and not trying to break/push as much as she used it. It all kind of clicked yesterday, like the ride just felt really, really good. I had her on a loose rein for the majority of the ride - we even jogged on at the loosest possible rein - one handed, and for the most part she kept up a nice, slow, jog. Perfect!
My trainer had me working on rollbacks in a circle, so she would get me to lope, stop me wherever, get me to rollback, etc. etc. My rollbacks are a little iffy at times, Quiz was walking out on them quite a bit at the beginning, I just need to focus on really guiding with my rein hand and physically looking where I want her to turn. By the end we got a couple good rollbacks in there.
Then we moved on to loping around two barrels, she had me circling a barrel, coming out of it at a wide circle and then moving into the second barrel, circling it, and then again coming out wide. For this exercise I need to focus on keeping my hand closest to the barrel wide and open, but not dropping my hand. I also need to keep my back straight and really sit in those turns, only cueing Quiz with my leg when she begins to break down.
All and all I had a really good ride, and walked away with some concrete stuff to work on. Good lesson all around.
Next Time: Rollbacks - guide more with my body and don't expect her just to plant her back feet because I think she will. Think of a rollback as more of a fluid motion.
Barrel Exercise - Keep my hand closest to the barrel wide, open and up, don't drop the hand, thus allowing her to drop her shoulder. Only cue with my leg when she needs it, otherwise she'll just speed through the turn. Watch my shoulders - keep my body upright and slightly back through turns and while cueing for speed.
& now, because I never remember to take photos, or have anyone to take photo of video of me, I took a little video of Quiz post-workout. I was told by her owner that the second she got in the arena she would roll, well two videos later she had yet to roll. Hence my over eagerness when she actually did..
Quiz is so cute, my dorky self is not. I hate listening to myself over video. haha