I’m definitely focused on improving what I can while riding Scarlet. But I also want to make sure that I am not drilling him. Scarlet can do a bit of repetitive work but drilling ends up making him tense and anticipatory. He stops listening and just tries to do what he thinks comes next. So I want to make sure that I mix up my rides and ensure that he is doing things that he has fun with as well.
Friday, Holly happened to be riding the same time as I was. We both warmed up and then hopped around some jumps. I specifically kept us to the itty bitty ones and focused on either grabbing mane or exaggerating my release. Scarlet was happy to canter around and go over more jumps so it looks like he is not holding a grudge about being yanked on last time. Even so, I didn’t want to push it and decided we were done with that so we could have good progress.
Uno lept over a few higher lines of jumps and one ~3ft oxer. He was feeling it and kept playing after the fences. Once Holly got a line where he was good and didn’t play too hard, she called it quits as well. Then we agreed to go around the trail as a cool down.
Scarlet was so behind my leg while we started out but he wasn’t misbehaving. Uno actually had a few problems of spooking and spinning while we were out there. And guys? Scarlet did nothing. He was so unbelievably chill while Uno freaked that I have no words to really describe my feelings. He just stood there and waited for him to calm down, then we walked off again. We have probably 3 of these incidents and in all of them, Scarlet calmly waited without getting worked up himself. I was so impressed with him and just so happy that we could go around the trail without getting tense or feeding off the other horse.
Saturday I wanted to ride a bit of bareback again so I put the pad on him and off we went. Scarlet really seems to enjoy when we do a warm up lap around the barn. I like it as well because it adds something new to our routine. After we warmed up, I had us trot around the back arena. I worked really hard on feeling the rhythm of the trot and not pulling my legs up. I think I got it down fairly well because Scarlet kept trying to speed up in the trot. Not like he was trying to run away but like he wanted to go back to a normal trot speed, not his slower sitting trot. I’m hopeful that I’m getting better at it, even if I still feel like a potato sometimes.
I really focused on using my seat and legs for turns and keeping him forward. I think that I should probably do more bareback riding, even if it’s not as good of a workout for Scarlet. I really focus on myself and my position a lot more when the possibility of falling is imminent.
Bonus: I got this little guy in the mail from Pony for a Pony this weekend! XD He is so cute and I love him so!