Monday 26 August 2019

Thinking Forward

I almost felt like I was cheating this weekend with only one horse to ride. Phantom got a mandated 3 days off after her hock injections (also bute for those days). I spent a bit of time with her each day which she seemed to appreciate, but I didn't have to feel any guilt over not planning to hop on her.
It poured rain yet again on Friday evening. Somehow Phantom ended up with a glop of mud in her forelock, but nowhere else.
Cisco hadn't been ridden since last Saturday. Because he's such a crazy horse, a few days off meant that he was a pain to deal with. A pain in that he was super chill and wouldn't go forward.

I was hoping for a really easy ride on Friday. When I woke up in the morning I did the full body stretch thing while still in bed and ended up tweaking something in my shoulder. I couldn't use my left arm properly or turn my neck to the left all day. I guess I'm officially old.

I had taken a muscle relaxer mid-afternoon which knocked me out for an hour and a half. So I was a little dopey when I arrived out at the barn after supper. Thus I wanted a nice, easy ride.
Extra time meant that ponies got to graze for a bit.
I was exhausted after 5 minutes of trot. I had to fix that.

Most of the rest of the ride ended up being focused on forward when my leg goes on. Forward and back, forward and back. If I didn't get an immediate reaction from closing my leg, Mr. Tappy made his presence known.

This isn't something new to Cisco. He definitely knows that leg means forward. But he kind of picks and chooses when he decides to act on it. Getting him sharper off my leg is going to be a key focus for the next little while.

He wasn't as good in the connection as he has been of late, but forward has to come first.

On Saturday I set up a small course of poles with the intent of cantering a small course. I've cantered a single pole on him just a couple of times, so I really wasn't sure how throwing a few poles together would go.
Pippa was desperately hoping that Cisco would share. He didn't.
Overall, I was quite happy with him. The lines left a lot to work on regarding straightness, but he didn't worry about the distance that he arrived at. The biggest problem was that Cisco just didn't want to canter towards the scary end. This affected the forward and the amount of wiggle that was present everytime we cantered towards that end.

I decided to push things and canter one more line to see if we could get it a bit straighter. It ended up being only slightly straighter, but on the turn he went super deep and quiet into the scary end. So I was glad I asked for one more (for once - usually that backfires on me).

I really want to try to jump him again, but I have to plan it out. There's never anyone around when I ride so I have to bring a babysitter with me (safety first). My work schedule for this week is kind of wonky - in a good way - so I'm going to make it a goal to try to pop him over some tiny jumps. And an even bigger goal of staying on this time!

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