So I had another set of back-to-back rides that reminded me –very strongly – about why I created this blog. These rides were as different as night and day, despite occurring less than 24 hours apart.
Last Friday I had a phenomenal ride on Gordon. Despite green horses, super loud scary winds, and other shenanigans, Gordon remained calm and super attentive to my cues. We had some great moments and I really enjoyed myself.
Saturday night, however, was a totally different story. Gordon was super high-strung and flighty. Part of this, I suspect, is due to the fact that he was alone. I almost never ride Gordon alone and he is very herd-oriented. This is definitely something I need to work on. I think it’s also caused by the excess energy that he has from his new summer diet (more grain) and warmer weather excitement. Despite this set-back, I was proud of how I handled the situation. I had to lunge him twice, but after getting a bunch of the jelly beans out, our ride finished decently – with him not running away on me and listening to my cues. Part of this might have been because another rider came into the ring at the end of the ride, but nonetheless I worked through (what I find to be) a scary situation without losing my nerves. That is progress.
On Tuesday we had a lesson that I was quite happy with. I got Gordon to do some of the movements from our Training level tests. He picked up the canter both ways right when I asked, and didn’t break like he used to. He also stayed in frame – even on his weaker side! We also worked on 15- and 10-metre canter circles. I had a harder time at this because I kept wanting to use my inside rein to turn at this faster gait. I need to play but not hold, says my coach – something to prioritize! We also had some really nice moments of extended trot – our best yet. This was achieved through using a bit of shoulder-in and strategic half-halting. My coach did say at the end of our ride that she thinks we have all of the right tools to be able to compete on schedule – May 11th! One month! As a result, I purchased my provincial memberships tonight and am super stoked to keep working towards our goals! It’s going to be an exciting summer. 🙂