And I rode, I rode so long the other day-a-ay…

Gosh, I’m sore. I got out by Charmer on Friday and Saturday.

Friday we did some ground stuff and ventured out in to the round pen for the first time this year. Since it was a new thing for Charmer, she got quite RBE out there (very windy and lots of semi trucks going by)! I could always bring her back to me, but she was cruising with her head high in the air. I made the mistake of going straight to liberty instead of playing on the 22′ line first. If I had done that, I would have had a safety net and could have shut her down quickly .. the way it went, I would have to wait a few laps of her galloping around and then ask her to come to me. It got better as the session went on, but next time, I’ll think ahead a little and not be so excited to play!

On Saturday we focused on riding. A lot of trotting and cantering. Mostly freestyle and a little finesse. We still have a lot of tuning up to do to get back to riding in harmony. I was playing with lead changes and minimizing the transition between leads. I usually just do drop to trot changes. This time, I played with stopping in the middle of the figure 8 for a rest, then continuing on to the next lead from a halt or walk. Once she got the idea that we are going to stop in the middle of the 8, it was a lot easier to steer her and just leave it up to body focus and energy to stop and direct us. Once we got to the point of control, I shortened the rest in between and the pattern changed to right lead, walk 3 steps, left lead. It was good. We were getting it. After I left, I realized the Question Box pattern would be good for Charm and I. I would like her to ask more questions while riding. She is the kind of horse that likes variety with a splash of consistency thrown in. I think the Question Box would give her that. Next time I’ll be setting up the arena in that way.

On Saturday, I also taped our entire riding session. I never saw myself ride at any length of time. I want to see how stupid I look and fix any tension, floppyness, or gripping that I don’t feel myself doing. I’m planning to tape myself riding for a personal critique regularly. It will also provide a positve progression as we get better and better this spring.

With working out so much and riding a lot on top of it, I am really feeling it. I’m SORE!

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