I hope everyone had a good 4th! I enjoyed my lazy weekend but didn’t end up doing anything for the actual day. It’s hard to watch fireworks when you have to go to work the next day.
Friday, I got let out of work a bit early. It’s one awesome thing my job continues to do. We get out an hour or two early the day before a holiday weekend. Gives everyone a little extra time to get traveling if they like. I wasn’t going anywhere but it meant I got out to the barn a bit earlier. Friday is usually pretty quiet and this last one was no exception. The jumps were almost all set up as little cross rails so I decided to jump with Scarlet. We did so much jumping. There was a fair bit of rushing and Scarlet really wasn’t respecting the jumps. In the future, I’m going to have to actually not be lazy and adjust the heights so that he will jump rather than running over them. I worked on asking him to keep it slow and steady while cantering to and through a line. Lots of half halts several strides before and then softening. The softening meant to him to speed up so I was trying to get him to remember that no, that means stay where you are at. It needs more work but the last line of the night was perfect. Steady pace in, small half halt and steady pace within the line. We were a little far from the jump but it was smooth so I took the small flyer and ended there. Hopefully, more practice and more serious jumps will convince him to keep the pace rather than speed up.
Saturday I met up with some friends from NY at the Packing House in Anaheim. Yum! That was fun but it meant no ride for that day.
I didn’t really feel like riding on Sunday but I forced myself to get out in the evening. Quite conveniently, the lady who has invited me to do the trails with her was back for her first ride after a knee replacement. So we did a small warm up in the arena and then headed out for a short loop of the trails. It was perfect because it was super easy and still got Scarlet out moving. Yay for lazy alternatives to working hard on a ride. I really wish I could get Scarlet out on the trail by myself so I can do that for an easy day. Something else to work on.
Monday, I went out in the morning (yay for days off!) and rode without stirrups. So hard! Always so hard. I was able to do several laps of trot posting with walk breaks in between each lap. I also did a lot of sitting trot, much to Scarlet’s displeasure. He wasn’t annoyed with how I was sitting, I’m pretty sure. I was bouncing less and all the movement was up and down, which I’m pretty sure is correct. He just didn’t like me sitting and not letting him canter. I had to argue with him and tell him that no, transitioning on your own is not okay. After a while, I did let him canter. I really focused on moving with the motion with my hips so that my butt never actually left the saddle. Sometimes, I get a bit out of sync and can feel an impact of sorts each stride. I did really well and was able to canter around a lot without leaving the saddle. Woo for practicing skills.
Then, I decided to trot more, just cause Scarlet is convinced cantering equals ending so I have to focus on not finishing up on a canter to walk pattern. I was feeling masochistic I guess because I decided to post the trot again. (My legs were not happy.) We trotted on lap, crossed the diagonal and trotted a lap the other way. ALL WHILE POSTING! I got TWO full laps while posting. I haven’t been able to do that until this week. I’m so happy that I can see myself improving. This torture wouldn’t be worth it without those small signs of improvement.
Tuesday, I had wanted to jump in the morning but a lesson was going on. So I warmed up in that arena and then went to a different one to work on leg yields. At the canter, I could really feel the difference in my movement after practicing the motion without stirrups the day before. It’s sticking! The leg yields were okay. We haven’t done them in a while and they are hard for Scarlet. I’ve got to remember to practice them as lateral movement is really good for stretching him.
Next post: Another riding lesson!