Monday 2 July 2018

Long Weekend Rides (part 1)

Phantom finally had her missing shoe reset on Wednesday of last week, so I was able to put a couple of proper rides on her this weekend. And she was fantastic!

I arrived on Saturday to an arena that had been cleared out. Yay! No jumps in the way!

She felt great from the start. Walking super forward instead of a turtle walk. Her trot felt nice and even and was forward right at the beginning. She's 15 this year, and sometimes she starts out a bit shuffly, but not that night.

Since there were no jumps set up, I threw in a bunch of leg yields and shallow serpentines. We did some trot spirals with a transition to walk and back to trot on a volte. And then we did some canter with some counter canter turns. And through these exercises I realized I have a problem.
Phantom is not impressed with my riding. 
I don't have a connection with my right rein.

This isn't a new problem, but man, did it show up during this ride. My left hand does the classic hang on the rein, my right hand wants to give too much, and my right elbow wants to stick out.

Phantom has always been prone to wanting to pop her right shoulder out, so tracking left I have spent much time focusing on keeping her straight through turns. I can straighten her, and have a feel of the right rein, but cannot get left bend and keep the feeling in my right rein. So if I have left bend, everything is probably falling out to the right.
Phantom wishes I would get my shit together when I ride.


This totally affects all our lateral work. And based on this ride, left lead canter in general. It's better when I think about keeping my right elbow at my side. Except that I can't get off my stupid left rein at the same time.

I'm hoping to start some lessons this week through the summer months. I think I might see if I can make this issue a bit of a focus. I need to make some progress on it before I will be able to see any real improvement with the lateral work, plus I don't want to end up with the same problem on Cisco, who already wants to bulge out through his right shoulder.
Phantom knows that her center part bangs make her look like a dork.
Sunday's ride was a nice stretchy ride for Phantom. The trot felt great. Canter - well, it's going to take some work to get a decent stretch. She's built very level, so it doesn't take much for her to fall on her forehand. Stretching down and poking her nose out and not falling on her face and rushing takes some strength on her part. And some figuring out what the hell to do with my body on my part. We'll work on this over the summer.
Probably our best canter regularity and trot elevation scores so far. 

So it was two great rides from Phantom.  Hopefully the lesson works out for Wednesday!


  1. I love her center part bangs, my retired OTTB has the same thing going on, haha (although Phantom is way more blessed in the forelock department than he is!).

    1. She has a pretty sad forelock - she wears a fly mask from April through September to protect her eyes and by the end of summer her forelock has been worn away to a little poof.

  2. hopefully things work out with scheduling the lesson! glad things are feeling so good!

    1. Lesson has been scheduled! Hopefully I don't get my ass kicked too badly!