Thursday, December 22, 2011

Riding Diary: 3

Horse: Trouble
          - boarder's horse

Bit: Eggbut snaffle w/ Copper Inlay

Time: 1.5 hr

Ride: Trouble was all sorts of fire-y when I first got on her to warm her up, then of course my trainer came in and it was "her head is going everywhere", "more contact", "watch your hands", "get her to focus". Thus, today was another day of lots of work at a trot.

Exercise 1: Collection, Collection & More Collection
- I am still really struggling with my contact, I can count numerous times in my life with horses where someone has prided me in having loose reins, little contact with a horses mouth, etc. etc. Ya, well, now we're in a snaffle bit, and we're in an arena and shit is getting real (contact-wise)! haha I just need to remember that having "contact" does not mean "cruelty". So poor Trouble and I, we learnt together today, me with my contact, her with her collection. It's hard with her because she doesn't really understand it yet, she isn't one of those horses that has to be checked every once and awhile, with her, she needs to be constantly aided in her collection, or else her head is swinging one way and her rib cage the other and my body is seemingly mimicking this, and her and I probably end up looking like one big shit-show.

Exercise 2: Barrels
- We started off with 2 barrels, trot up to one, turn (with proper contact, leg and hand placement - easier said than done), release, trot to second barrel making sure she is collected, turn barrel, exit. Then, once I kind of sort of figured out what I was doing with my legs my trainer up'd it to a turn, counter bend while trotting to second barrel, turn, counter bend past 1st barrel. Trouble drifts through her turns and then I tend to lose full control/contact with her after the second barrel thus not being able to effectively counter-bend so we worked a lot on that.

Exercise 3: Counter-Bending
- want to know something super fun? Trouble doesn't know how to disengage her body, and I apparently have one very weak leg (my left) and one dominant leg that can actually do what I want it to (my right). Here we go! In the end, after I was sweating buckets and having "LOUISA, QUIT GOING OVER THE MIDLINE" screamed at me over and over, we got it together and she was moving pretty nicely.

Then my trainer jumped on her and attempted to work on rollbacks with her, but again, she's just one of those horses that was never properly or professionally trained, she was quiet enough to be given to a kid who did 4-H and in the end she ended up too much for the kid and injured. So she just needs a lot of work, and a lot of time I suppose. She was having a hard time moving off her front end, and my trainer commented that he thinks she has issues with her left hock and that she will probably end up needing Cortisone shots because of it. Which is really sad.

Exercise 4: Barrel Pattern
- Issues we have: drifting, my hands/legs, her rib cage/collection... these issues culminate into ... a bit of a gross barrel pattern, baby steps, baby steps, baby steps..

For Next Time: Same as always, hand and leg placement.

Honestly, this Riding Diary may seem negative but I'm really happy with how the lesson went, I have clear issues that as a rider I obviously need to work through, but atleast I know what those issues are now, you know? Before I had no one telling me how to work through my issues, now I have someone, standing in the middle of the arena, screaming "YOUR HANDS. YOUR GODDAMN HANDS" and as scary as that sounds, I totally need it.

Also, my trainer commented on how much I kiss to horses, and it's true, it's just one of those things that is so ingrained in my behaviour. He pointed out that I kiss to put on halters, to talk to them, to get them to speed up, to get them to turn. So that's another little thing - NO MORE KISSING. :) (Unless you have a hot cowboy for me hahaha)

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