Ugh.... life is hard right now. I'm so stressed with studying for acupuncture finals, mostly because I don't have time to freakin' study! And even with taking two days off a week... I'm still not studying! And it's not even like I'm riding a ton either. Sigh... I haven't ridden Fleck all week and Dan only got 3 rides in. But they were good rides. :)
We had our lesson Tuesday and he felt pretty good. We had some troubles with the canter serpentines and clearly we need to work on our 10 meter circles. I apparently can't steer. But Danny was pretty good and we had some really good moments. Honestly, right now that's all I can remember from Tuesday.
So then Saturday I finally got to ride again (the thunder and lightning ruined a Wed night ride and a Thurs night ride) even though I had to get up early and squeeze it in. I thought about taking Fleck but that would have taken too much time and he didn't look like he felt great. Sigh. But anyways, I took Dan to Ashland and we played in the dressage arena. I wanted to work on our circles. He was great! I realized that I had to ride his shoulders and also how important my body position is. I really thought about bending my body in an effort to bend his body and it seemed to help. I also had to keep that right shoulder from flinging out by keeping my right hand at the withers in both directions. So we ended up getting some decent 10 meter circles. Then we did some fun stuff. (Oh.. that's right... Cindy had us do this in our lesson, although I tweaked it today.... on Tuesday we did down centerline, 10 meter circle to the R, leg yield to quarter line, 10 meter circle L, and then leg yield to rail). We ended up doing the long side, 10 meter circle at rail, then leg yield to centerline, then 10 meter circle, then leg yield the other way back to the rail. Or.... ?? Something like that. Circles and leg yields and rapid outside rein changes. He got pretty good at them. We also worked on our counter canter serpentines. They are still a work in progress. But we had a good ride and he tried very hard. So then we headed to the woods for a nice hack. Dan was weird on the hack though. He was tired I guess. :) He just kept wanting to stop and smell and sniff and stare. Weirdo!
Today was a FUN day though! And Danny was NOT tired... Not one bit. :) We had a lesson at Cedar Ridge with Kelly. Caroline rode Bandit and Julie rode Romeo and me on Dan. The babies were BABIES today!!We all had moments but we also all had some really good education installments and some really good rides too. In fact, we all finished quite nicely. Dan was great at the trailer so I thought I may have been out of the woods, given our last Cedar Ridge outing. ;) Unfortunately not... He was rowdy on the walk to XC and went up in the air a few times. (Little pop up rears.. nothing major). And apparently I was really tense because as we started to warm up, he got really tight and bouncy and balled up. It may have been some of me too. We had a few moments of him getting balled up and going up and I may or may not have smacked him on the forehead once or twice with the whip. Kelly ended up having us canter up the hill, stop, then turn and trot politely down the hill. 5 times. It was suicides! Like in gym class. Hee hee. It worked, although it took a few attempts to get polite up and down the hill. By the end though he was tired enough and was able to go forward enough that he returned to normal Dan instead of Danimal. :) Then we had a fun good cross country school.
Basically we did the banks, the ditches, the water, and some mini courses. I have to remember to not row with my hands. Kelly still wants me to keep them a bit higher, so that I keep that straight line from bit to elbow. I also need to grab mane some so I don't row, although for some reason that is hard for me so I used the neck strap. Kelly said it's not as ideal as it drops my hands, but whatever works for me. I need to remember to stay in the back seat and keep my hands wide and up as we approach "scary" stuff. I actually was getting better (mostly) about doing that and keeping my landing gear in front of me. Although it's still an issue on landing. I can keep my leg underneath me at the base and over the fence but landing I still want to tip forward. I started thinking about landing in the back seat a bit and helping keep Dan's face up out of the ground and that helped. So did grabbing the neck strap. And I think that if I focused harder on the 3 point and 2 point (like I MEANT to....) it would have helped too. Though overall, better than before. Dan felt great too. He was doing his snorting with his strides.. which I love! I know a lot of horses do that but none of mine ever have so I like it. Though we definitely didn't keep the same rhythm the whole way. Oops! I also really need to sit the trot to the trot fences, at least the last few strides, otherwise I get caught in the up part. We also worked on keeping my butt in the saddle on the down banks. I have found that if I think about dropping my stirrups (or even just lifting my toes out of the irons ever so slightly) it helps keep my butt in the saddle. I also need to grab the breastplate (not the neck strap.. that almost encourages me to two point) which helps me think of more of a dressage seat. And then I need to keep the butt in the saddle til he pops me up out of it. :)
So yep.. Super fun day. Danny even jumped some "big boy" stuff. :) He is so funny. He sometimes acts a little scared and then he almost has to make up for it by showing off and being super brave and "Rolex" to another fence. I love this little houligan!