Sunday I wasn’t able to go out and ride. Instead, I spent the day with these cuties.
Our best friend is a vet and she is fostering these little guys. Bottom left is a boy, top right is a girl. They were born on St. Patties day so her kids named them Guinness and Patty respectively. They are super adorable. Everything you want from kittens. They play hard and then sleep hard. Patty is a little terminator though. She is super adventurous and likes to play toe piranha. She nibbled on my toes a ton instead of going after the toy. 🙂 (Anyone in the SoCal area, they will be adoptable soon!)
I also got an early birthday dinner from them. The husband is a fantastic chef. He does it as a hobby but everything he has ever made has been amazing.
One of the best things about being down in San Diego is we now get to see them more than once or twice a year. But it means that I don’t get a ride in on that day. Sacrifices have to be made.
Monday I did ride and it was a really good one. I dropped my stirrups back to flat length and wanted to really practice on responsiveness to light aids. I only needed to do a couple of walk-trot transitions before Scarlet really hopped on it.
It was really cool as I felt him get a more uphill balance for a bit. Not extremely so, probably more even than actually uphill. But my imagination could extrapolate and guess what a real dressage horse would feel like. Transitions seem to wake him up and he was really focused on me.
As we went around, I realized that my reins were really wonky. I was holding my right-hand way close to his crest, no matter which bend we were on. I figured that wasn’t good and definitely wasn’t giving him even pressure from both sides. So I fixed it. And it felt like his back popped. He slid into a more upright posture around the corners. I was amazed. So I tried to keep that up for the rest of the ride. That was hard for both of us. But he did try for me so I tried my hardest to support him while he did.
I’ve always had a habit of almost crossing my hands over the crest for signals. I’ve been working on that. Shorter reins have really helped that habit but I still get close. I hadn’t realized how much that caused problems. I should have. One of the exercises my former trainer had me do at the trot was hold onto the pad to keep my hands still. I thought that was to stop me from bringing them up with me while I post. And somewhat it is, but it is also to keep even pressure on the reins. I felt what that can do for the ride. I’m going to do my best to be conscious of that for future rides.
Tuesday I didn’t ride again as it was my actual birthday and the husband took me out for a nice steak dinner. Yum! And just to make you all even more jealous, here is the yummy, oh so rich cake I made myself.