Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Lesson with Claire

Thumbs out, hands a bit wider, keep his shoulders straight between my aids (legs, seat and hands) and his head straight between his shoulders. But practice right flexion... holding til he releases, then left flexion, holding til he releases, and back and forth.

Left lead canter .... hold the right rein.... almost counter bend, don't let him fall left but don't hold him up. Once we get the left lead... leg yield to the left to help him left that left shoulder.

the blockage is in the withers at the base... (Cindy has said this, but... I kind of felt it today).

Want to lengthen his neck without having him drop it. He needs to lift up and out into the contact. right and left flexion helps soften him.

Surge forward, especially in the turns and 10 meter circles, from my inside leg.

forward, forward, forward

when he gets bouncy but stuck... .ride the surge forward and ride the withers Up and OUT. Lengthen the neck into the contact

Danny had fun. He was challenged but tried very hard. Super pissy (pinned ears) when we leg yielded at the canter, but he got soft. Fatigued a bit though...

fun ride. :)

Pine Top Thanksgiving Horse Trials

So many thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Trail ride with Mike and then jumped a bit

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Fun but challenging lesson

Today was fun! Danny was in a fussy mood and was making faces at everyone today. But he was pretty good. We worked on me and my position some and my arms. Team T-Rex Holly!!! I keep straightening my elbows and pushing my hands forward. No!!! Also, I need to make sure to keep my right elbow at my side especially. That's the side he likes to lengthen. And today, when we were trotting, I pretty much rode slightly haunches out (more thinking that with my seat but also asking him a bit too, only... only asking as much as needed to get him straight) and he didn't feel lame. :) Yay! Then we worked on the canter from the walk and we got it to the left after a few right leads. The good news is that I'm actually feeling it better now and able to control my body better to get it now. It's just still awkward and not smooth and pretty. But it's getting better. Then we upped the ante and did the 3 loop serpentine both ways. And I was able to get it. Though when we had the right lead Cindy said that my right leg was going to his girth again instead of into his shoulder. I was trying. So she walked next to me and showed me how she wanted my leg. Um.... I swear it felt like my foot was literally perpendicular to his body wall. I looked down and nope.. it's perfectly parallel. Doh! But... seeing that and feeling that was good for my brain. It was like... OHHHH... and then Cindy pushed my leg into Dan and basically had me feel it, so.. it was easier to do it after that. Still hard, but easier. At least mentally... And when I did do it, his canter got LOVELY and he held the 3 loop so much easier. So then we went back to walk to canter to the left lead and struggled a bit again. We did the 3 loop okay, but... going back to the walk to canters... I could feel his crookedness, feel my crookedness, and most of the time I was actually able to fix it, but then... he'd pick up the left lead and immediately swap to the right. No Dan... I'm impressed you can do such smooth changes, but No! So we finally managed to get everything coordinated and get myself to coordinate my leg and seat aids to keep him going and to keep him going on the left lead. So then we tried to do the counter canter on the short side and he kept breaking. We finally got it. So then we did some trotting and then Cindy let us finally pick up the right lead. Ha ha. 

So yep, fun but challenging lesson. :) :) I'll be so glad when both of us get stronger in our straightness and it isn't such a struggle. 

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Whooo Hooo!! Feeling Ready

Ahhh, what a lovely day!! It was a nice sunny warm day! Not hot, not humid!!! And I'm still NOT complaining about the cold weather. But the sun today was that lovely type of sunshine that soaks in your skin, then soaks into your bones and just warms you up inside out. Not the sweltering, suffocating, dripping down your crack type. ;) Anyways... so Cindy came this morning and we got Dan's saddles flocked and fitted and chatted. Then I packed the trailer (mostly) for Pine top and got it organized and hung a shower curtain rod for my shower. I'm hoping that if I can get it to work right, I'll be able to stay a bit warmer when I'm showering at Pine Top. Then I gave Fleck a bath to get rid of his skin funk. Then I gave Dan a bath to get rid of his skin funk. I put them in their stalls to dry and NOT ROLL while I went inside to make chili in the crock pot. Then I came back out and turned the ponies out as they were mostly dry and the sun was really warming up nicely now. I tossed hay so that they could focus on that. I went inside to eat lunch and change into my riding clothes. And when I came out.. this is what I saw.....

Seriously Dan?!?! Flecky was clean. Sigh.. but we had to go, so off we went to our lesson.

And it was awesome!!!! Yay!!! It was so nice to have a great lesson and feel like I could ride and not just panic. I could see a distance. I was with him! And he was game :) We jumped a few little smaller fences and got into our groove. I rode the same as I did in the stadium lesson... Got a canter lengthen, then shortened his neck while lengthening. And Beth said that my leg position was better too. And my saddle felt sooooo awesome!! It's amazing how a correctly flocked saddle can make a difference. Note to self... when I start struggling to keep my leg in front of me, have Cindy check my saddle. :) We jumped the ditches just fine and then Dan cantered over the ditch and wall like it was nothing. In fact, he jumped the snot out of it and cracked his back so hard he almost jumped me out of the tack. Then Beth had us trot it. And... everyone started falling apart! I was afraid we would to, so I cheated a tiny bit and may have asked for a canter stride or two right before he jumped it, but... he felt like he would have easily trotted it. So yay! Then we did the training coffin line with the fake trakenher. But we did NOT do the trakehner. That's okay. I would have done it had Beth told us too, and part of me wanted her to tell us to, but.. I didn't want it enough to ask. :) Ha! We worked on the water too and Dan got to do the big kid stuff. We jumped the small log down into the water and then did a bendy line to the corner. Only the first time my line was so terrible and he was so off balance that he couldn't jump the corner and stopped. Totally my fault. So I fixed it and we got better, but sort of took a flyer. We did fix it and got a much better take off spot the third time. Then we went back to the skinny coop roller coaster combo and this time... this time there was no crying!! We didn't make it perfect, but it was sooooo much better and not nearly as awkward. Yay! Then we did a little mini course and did the corner again (but not from the water, from the table) and it was PERFECT!! Like.. he was super balanced and super rocked back and nailed it. YAHOOO!!!!! 

It was such a great day and Dan felt awesome. He was forward and in front of my leg and responsive and I was able to ride him into the bridle and get a nice canter and get him "on the bit". :) Yay! I'm feeling pumped for Pine Top! And.. he was silly. He kept making snark faces at the other horses but then wanted to play with them. In fact, when another horse was naughty at the ditch and wall, Dan and I stood to the side to prevent the horse from running out and Dan was all too happy to make snark faces at him. Hee hee.

Then Kelli met me and we went for a short hack. It got a little chilly in the woods and as the sun started to set. Granted I was also fairly wet from Dan cantering through the water repeatedly. :) But it was a nice relaxing cool down ride. And it gave me time to let my knees and thighs stop freaking out. I was sore!!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Quick Ride

Danny and I had a fun quick ride this morning! Today was Mike's Saturday but I got to sneak in a ride this morning. Ashland was having their CT show so I couldn't use the arena's but the trails were open. I ended up doing a little bit of dressage in the XC field and then we went for a very short hack. But Danny was pretty super. We started out a bit tight and upright and hanging on each other, but we finished with some pretty nice dressage work. The biggest take away was that I need to push him into the outside rein, almost by thinking of leg yielding him out. And really bending him around my inside leg. :) Duh.... But for reals.. one of these days I'll just do that instinctively.

We practiced some fun stuff. He felt much more responsive to my seat aids today. Or maybe I figured out how to use them better, but we got better haunches in and outs. And we also worked on our canter serpentines. On the hills!! And he held them. We also did some walk to canter to walks. The left lead is still hard, especially from the walk but we managed to figure it out. It's not pretty and round and through yet, but at least we're picking it up. We got some nice downwards too and got a fairly nice left lead to walk to right lead. :)

So yep... fun day! Tomorrow hopefully I'll get to bathe the funk off of him and then we'll have a XC lesson. Then dressage with Cindy Tuesday and then.... hopefully a ride Thanksgiving morning and then we leave for Pine Top! So... hope that one jump lesson with Beth lasts. :)