Friday, January 15, 2010

...oh well.

Got there last night to find four other horses in the ring, and my crowded-ring skills are very rusty. Tris was a bit wigged out by so many horses, and disinclined to get right to work. Problem is, until he's warmed up and forward, steering him can feel like trying to turn an aircraft carrier. Which, as you can imagine, creates additional problem in a crowded ring.

In retrospect, I probably should have just worked on our space management to get him over it; instead, I tried to get work done. I have lost my dressage whip in the wilds of my parents' basement, and had been borrowing a school one; all the ones normally on the wall were now being used, so I had to try to get a reluctant Tristan forward without the occasional reminder of the whip. Which didn't work. (Spurs tend to create an artificial aids arms race with Tristan, and I have been avoiding them, but who knows, might be time...)

He tried to spook in every corner, occasionally flipped his head up and his shoulder out right into the path of an oncoming horse, and while we had some really lovely moments, overall I was not pleased with either my riding or his willingness to cooperate. I should've expected it - never in his life has he been good two rides in a row - but still. At least I was in a better mood than earlier this week and could more or less shrug it off. The only really humiliating part was that T. was teaching lessons to people who were riding their horses much, much better than I, and...yeah. Ouch.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Quick update, my first ride in over a week and a half:

- Forward really is the key to everything.

- I can't really describe in words how satisfying it felt last night to be working on sitting Tristan's trot down - half-halting and posting slowly to ask for scope and a bit of suspension and more through his back. Really good thinky stuff instead of fighting and stiffness.

- Last night, for the first time EVER, I had actual control of his outside shoulder in the canter. Just right, but - when I put my outside leg on, he spiraled in. I had him between four aids, on a 20m circle. I even said out loud to L. how weird it felt, having my horse that completely underneath me. Consequently, his canter smoothed out it was like all of a sudden riding a hunter hack and not my motorcycle mustang.

- \o/