Scarlet and I had a really tense ride on Tuesday. It had been a bit since we had ridden since the three-day weekend saw me heading out of town. I expected the ride to not be as great as out last one. It honestly wasn’t bad but boy was Scarlet tense.
It was really windy when I got on. This means that the metal around the arena was vibrating and anything that could whip and twist with the wind was. To be fair to Scarlet, he really wasn’t spooking much at things. He was looking and shying away but we didn’t have any serious sideways movement.
I had planned on just going out and walking and trotting around, maybe a little no stirrup work. But when he was tense at both the walk and the trot, I knew I needed to get his brain moving forward, not up. So we cantered around in both directions a lot. I had to use a lot of leg to get him to move forward and keep moving forward. It took a while but we eventually worked out enough energy that he could relax some.
I am getting better at sitting the trot. I honestly think that the bareback ride and the stirrup-less ride I did really helped me with this. Since tensing up doesn’t help when trying to stay on without a saddle, I was better able to feel how my hips, knees, and ankles were supposed to flex and work together to help me absorb the trot rhythm. Its getting better for sure. Its nice to see improvements both in myself and in Scarlet. It tells me I’m doing something right after all.