Thursday, June 16, 2016

Mental Fitness

I'm a terrible mother for letting my guy wear this ratchet fly mask

With the vacation, my sister's wedding this weekend (and me being Maid of Honor), and general life stress, riding has unfortunately been kept to a minimum. Luckily I am able to sneak to the barn on my way home and at least give him a good groom and cookies. He is in full care and while he misses getting worked, he is a naturally lazy horse so he doesn't quite mind just being pampered and hanging out with his friends.

Yesterday was a ride day for me, and I have to be honest. Not riding for awhile makes me get weird about riding. It was lightly sprinkling and I was worried about melting in the rain apparently but the indoor wasn't dragged. I was also on a bit of a time crunch due to scheduling. Weird wimpy Micaylah brain was all "guess we will just groom" until a barnmate asked why we weren't riding. Then I realized how much of a gross baby I was and tacked up. 

Going from nice and hot to a drizzly mid 60's day left Ries very fresh. While I entered the ring, barnmate was grabbing her horse from the pasture (on the other side of the arena) and Ries was pretty sure she was way more interesting. I immediately brought him up to the trot where he took some funky steps and was rather short strided. I moved away from the pasture and pushed him forward. Feeling the tension from the excess energy I quickly decided to canter. We got pretty normal transitions which let me know his body was feeling supple and he didn't have any weirdness. With this much energy, it is easy for him to turn it into naughty behavior. I had to put on the turbo boosts and push him into a strong, forward canter. After changing directions a few times I was able to unlock a pretty decent medium canter tracking right! Wohoo! 

Snax after rides

He was finally in work mode and without much physical fitness I focused on walk work. His walk is improving dramatically. Schooling first level I knew I needed to work on leg yields. We mastered these pretty well at the walk, and I had ten minutes left to spare so I said what the hell and practiced at the trot. My immediate instinct was to attempt to sit the trot. Normally I do about 5-10 strides before I have to start posting. After ten strides I felt it getting harder for me but pushed myself anyways. If I don't support myself in the sitting trot Riesling immediately disengages and slows to a jiggy walk. Surprisingly, I was doing pretty well and actually was able to adjust the trot while sitting! I guess I'm starting to become a real dressage rider!

Even though it was a short ride and not too physically demanding, it really showed a lot about how Riesling and I's mental fitness has improved. When I ask him something he isn't quite 100% schooled yet, he really tries hard to listen to me. I encourage him and it keeps him going. He is always so proud of himself when I give him a good boy pat! I can ask more of him mentally and he is ready to respond. I can't wait to do this every day. I was super bummed when I got off and was thinking about today's ride and then realized I won't be able to come out until Sunday. I love my #princessRiesOTTB


  1. Glad you had a great first ride back :)

  2. ha i get weird about riding if it's been a while too... but then i ride and everything is better again :) sounds like Ries is doing well!

  3. This is a great reminder to me about keeping my s together mentally!

  4. That sounds like a lovely ride! It stinks when life gets in the way, I hope you get in more ride time soon!