I had an extra hour and half of time yesterday (for once in my life) and was finally able to ride. Ries has been nqr and right now I'm starting to think it is a mental thing for me where I want to baby him. From Austen's post on the Janet Foy clinic ,
"You can pay for as many chiro adjustments as you want, but at some point you both (horse and rider) gotta sweat. Otherwise no one will get trained."
This was the mentality I chose for yesterday's ride. For the most part I remained confident in my horse's ability to work. He was super gung-ho to work and happy to move forward. We focused a lot on walking and stretching out his muscles. It isn't fair to immediately work him hard when he hasn't been worked in over a week.
|New Ogilvy! But me thinks I need the dressage version|
When we started with trot I stuck to his right side first (his stronger side). He wanted to fall on the forehand but I held my position and made him come up to me. I felt like a giant sack of potatoes but the butt cloud is still amazing.
Tracking left he definitely wanted to have a little hitch in his step and be short-strided. He was balling himself up in his chest and I legged him forward and put my hands fore so he got the idea to move out. After about half a 20 meter he decided he could trot like a normal horse. Tracking left he also wanted to fall into the circle. I used my inside thigh to push his shoulder back up (does this make sense? or did I fuck up? I haven't had a lesson in forever, no shame). After a few circles he didn't need the support and remembered how to be a straight and balanced horse, albeit very forward and disconnected. I found myself opening my outside hand and not supporting him. Every time he felt disconnected and flat I checked my outside hand and ever single time knew I was throwing away the contact. I managed to fix this towards the end of the trot and we were going along nicely.
The canter was fantastic (compared to earlier this year). I started tracking left and someone was definitely stuck in his chest again. A squeeze and hands fore and he remembered to open up his stride and relax his back again. I blame myself for this, I gave him the world's shittiest transition. Tracking right I redeemed myself and really set him up for a decent transition and he responded beautifully. I high-fived myself for not being an awful rider during that transition (because my canter departs have been epicly awful).
I stuck to mostly twenty meter circles for our trot and canter work but worked a lot on figures during the walk. He balls up and anticipates badly in the walk so I ended our ride by alternating from free walk (where he relaxes and swings his back) to a working walk without him getting stiff and short strided. We will be working on this exercise much more to get a decent working walk.
Because my horse likes to break himself, he had a crack coming down from his cornet band on his right front. I called the farrier and he said he was carefully watching it so here's hoping there isn't another excuse to not be able to ride.