If you missed my last post, Sierra arrived home from spending 2 months with my trainer on Sunday evening, and after not schooling a horse for nearly 10 weeks - I dragged my pregnant-butt aboard and have ridden every day this week (Mon - Wed). Ask me how i'm feeling....
As if that wasn't enough, we have a clinic this weekend with my trainer but luckily, she loves my horse and appreciates my current state (pregnant potato) and instead of making me suffer through two 45 min private lessons, she is going to pop on Sierra for 10-20 minutes each day. We didn't get the opportunity to catch up while Sierra was down south so she could show me in person what she'd been working on, so this is the next best thing.
In my last post, I alluded to a few things that I didn't particularly love about Sierra - these were in * no way * a reflection on CA - She did a fabulous job with my girl as far as i'm concerned. Some things are just really important to me like waiting to be asked (with leg) to walk-on after mounting, and walking relaxed and on the contact in between trot and canter work. Truthfully, both of these things were noted after my first ride and i'm sure a lot of it was Sierra being excited due to being in a 'new' (ok not new, but it's been several months) arena and so on. None of it was malicious, mean or with ill-intent in the least, and I knew were things I could easily correct on my own if need be.
Tuesday I rode Sierra for a second time, and she was already much improved with getting on. The issue isn't so much her walking off while mounting, but not waiting to be asked to walk on - the day prior, as soon as I fiddled with the reins she would walk off and we spent several minutes working on just standing. I used to always give her a treat when I mounted so I went back to this, and by Day 3 she is much more inclined to stand happily and wait to be asked. Easy Peasy. In addition to that, the jiggy-walk between trot/canter work was essentially gone (for the most part). While she did sometimes lose rhythm in anticipation of a trot transition, she remained patient. I have to find that fine line of encouraging her to wait and maintain rhythm and relaxation without making a sluggish and lazy trot Transition... but on the flip side, I also have to be prepared to 'go' with her when she does an appropriately energized Transition and not get left behind. Riding is hard, mkay?!
|Admiring horses is less hard than riding.|
I'm trying to be really diligent to not ruin the hard work CA put into Sierra, while finding that 'happy medium' that works for me. I honestly expected Sierra to be a lot hotter and more tense than she is - like a lot hotter. She's forward, but I really wouldn't call her hot, and once we Canter that forward is more of a 'make me, and i'll do it... but not unless you make me' while in trot it's the opposite where I feel like at times my half-halts have just gone to more of a full-body movement (we've all been there, don't judge me) as if i'm saying "Hello? Anyone home?!" while she motors along.
After watching Monday's videos, I vowed to stop riding like a complete GOON, especially in the Canter. I was relatively satisfied with how I rode the trot, and now that I have a bit more of a feel I asked a little more of Sierra the past two days and she gladly stepped up without garnering any more tension. I mean, lets be real i'm sure I am an absolute TREAT to her coming out of full time professional training, if the ride times below don't indicate that. At least they're getting slightly longer though, right?!
|FWIW - Equilab FINALLY works on my phone, but Tuesday night I had to make some adjustments to settings so it tracked correctly. I still don't think it's 100% accurate, but close enough. Unfortunately the indoor blocks any GPS related features like the map, tracking left/right, turns, etc.|
For the remainder of the week, Sierra gets today off - I intend to bath, but it's supposed to be -30 overnight so despite having a hot wash bay and a warm indoor to dry off in, I may hold off. She's filthy, but doesn't look it from a distance at least - I will decide this afternoon. I intend to ride on Friday and then we lesson Saturday & Sunday. So far the first week back with home is looking very promising!
|Lass & Hubby, just 'cause.|