Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Riding Session #2

Tonight was my second group riding session at our local stable. Happily, this photo is NOT of me!

It was about 30 degrees, but I was bundled up and got so warm that I had to take my coat off while riding. It was nice and bright in the indoor area with fluffy footing.

Again, I rode Doc, the 14 year old QH/Arab gelding. I called him to me from the muddy field with a gesture - remarkable for a school horse. I brushed him off and gave him scratches, then tacked him up with my bareback pad and halter w. rope reins. We played on the ground (mostly Porcupine game) and then mounted up.

This evening we started off with about 15 minutes of walking. I practiced "walking in my body" on a loose rein, and then yielding his ribs both toward and away from the arena fence. His backing was greatly improved this evening - all I had to do was raise the reins and take up the slack and lean slightly backward and back he'd go!

The group moved into trotting practice, so we worked on trotting into the corners and stopping (to prevent his anticipating and cutting the corners & also to encourage a slow trot on a loose rein). We also played with bending ribs both directions at the trot and going from halt to trot to walk, etc. He is an amazingly light horse, especially considering that he is regularly used for teaching beginning riders.

Cantering was fun and pretty relaxed for me this evening compared with last time. My friend, Julie, came up with a little dance that she does to rehearse canter departures a la Linda Parelli (from the blue L2 pack). I tried it today on the exercise ball at the gym and it was very effective! Rehearsing helped my muscles to obey when the time came to try and also kept me from getting very tense in anticipation. We cantered enough for me to relax and find my balance.

Next, we JUMPED. Little jumps - but jumps nonetheless! I felt very brave, although I'll admit that my balance was sometimes questionable. ;-)

I'm hoping to video tape our next session so that I can see how I look.. Our instructor said that I looked much more relaxed this evening. I know that I sure felt more confident.

Maybe I'll try this next time?


Tina said...

I'd love to hear more about the little dance! Seriously...maybe it would help us, too?

Naturally Gaited said...

Ok, I'll try to post something later today. We've now added the use of a balance ball. :-)