Thursday 21 September 2017

Update For the Week

The weather has been rather yucky this week. We had snow on Tuesday - the steady rain of the morning turned to huge, cotton-ball sized snowflakes. Thankfully the snow didn't stay, as the temperature stayed above freezing. Welcome to the prairies! Two weeks earlier we had broken a heat record at 32 degrees Celsius, and then we had snow.

So it has been cold, and damp, and just yucky. And I have had little incentive to get out from under my heated blanket to go out to ride.

I did get rides in on both ponies on Monday. Cisco was better when I lunged him at the scary end before riding, and was quieter than he had been the last few times. So I kept the lunging short.

At the mounting block, he shifted himself away, so I tried to get him to line back up without me hopping down from the block. Which worked! And then he stood quietly so I was able to get on him for the first time without having someone hold him! Yay! Progress!

Not much to talk of about the ride - he was okay, but still not as relaxed as I would like him to be. I have a feeling that relaxation is going to be a very long journey for us. His brain is just too busy.
Likely Cisco's first whole apple - I think it took 8 bites to finish

But we did have a couple of nice points during the ride - he was much better about steering into the corners than the last couple of rides had been. And we had a couple of really nice "lengthened" trots - I lifted a bit with my core and he responded. He felt really good through it - even with his head up in the air. He's going to feel really good when he actually relaxed and used his back properly!

For my ride on Phantom, I felt like I was riding pretty good for the first time in a while. She totally mirrors me, so when I ride like crap, she doesn't go nearly as well. When I ride her up and engage my core - shockingly so does she! It's like magic! Amazing! (But so exhausting!)

We had a bona fide shoulder-in to the left at a trot! I have struggled with this movement, all due to my position. A couple of years ago I managed to get some lessons in, and almost a whole lesson working on shoulder-in and leg-yielding - 90% of which was at a walk. A crawling walk. I had to really slow the walk down, as Phantom would ping-pong off my aids and bounce back and forth with her shoulders. So I was told to slow her right down until we could start to get the mechanics of the movement figured out. My shoulder-in right is great, the problem only comes up to the left.

The trick for me is to make sure I am sitting to the right, and push my lower back back. Then turn my torso to the inside. When I set myself up correctly, Phantom's shoulders shift to the inside without needing any rein. When I don't get it right, she just bends her neck and her right shoulder just keeps going straight down the track.
Phantom is an apple-eating pro.

So I was super happy with our attempt tonight. It was by no means perfect - it needs more bend through the body, and we'll need to work on adding some impulsion. But for the first time it was something that I thought we would be able to work with.

And those are the only rides of the week until the weekend.

Tuesday was a bit of a stressful day at work, and I hadn't slept well, so I fell asleep on the couch in the evening. On Wednesday I made it out to let Cisco play in the arena and did some clicker-training with him, and planned on heading back out to ride Phantom in the evening after teaching lessons. But I was chilled and tired and was just done when my last rider was done. So it was a nope. Thursday's in general I don't visit the barn due as I work the late shift. And on Friday I am planning to attend a Yoga for Equestrians class.  So hopefully I will be good to ride on Saturday after work. If I can move after my yoga class.

No comments:

Post a Comment