So... today started icky. We still have no water.... Apparently the busted pipe was an old pipe and it appears that the break is under the house. So... the plumber didn't know how to fix it and suggested we get a diagnostician in to help pinpoint the leak. Which they won't be able to come until Thursday morning. So another day with no water. Which means the dishes are piling up, the laundry is piling up... going to the bathroom is annoying. No shower... And today is my birthday and I woke up kind of cranky and then Mike was a butt head and grumpy. And I get it.. he's annoyed with the lack of water too. But so I was in a foul mood. And I was hoping to sleep in but since I haven't been able to shower I decided to drive to Athens and use the shower at High Point. Which I'm super grateful for! It felt amazing!!! So then I went for my chiropractic appointment, which I was actually early for. The original plan for the day was to do that, ride, then go get oysters at the Optimist for Happy Hour!! But Mike said that because of the water issue (finances, and being dirty and gross) that we weren't going to go today and would go another day. So then Kelly Eaton said she could teach me today, so since we weren't going to the Optimist, yay! So anyways, I get to my 10:45 chiro appt at 10:20. At 11:35 they still hadn't called me. I was getting really irritated as I needed to leave for my lesson at 12:15 to make it on time. And at this point, getting home by 12:15 was looking slim and I still had to change clothes and grab the horse. So finally they called me back at 11:40 and put me in the massaging chair. And then it ended.. and I sat there... and sat there. So finally at like noon, I opened the door and politely told them that I had a meeting to get to and I may have to leave. They said they would bump me in front of the one person ahead of me (Sorry to that person!!) and he would see me in just a minute. And he did. And thank goodness because I was so crooked. I had messaged Kelly and she asked if it would be easier to do 2:30 at Silverthorn instead of 1:45 at Shakerag... so I said YES PLEASE!!! And then realized multiple things... I'd have time to make myself a quick lunch... Caroline has a washer and dryer at her farm.... and she said I could use it, so.. yay!! Because the chiropractor took forever, I was able to have my lesson at an easier time, a closer drive, a cheaper lesson (no ring fee) AND get a load of laundry done!! Whoo hoo! And see Caroline! so Yay. I thanked God for that and it helped my day get better. Then when I got home it was gorgeous out. Like.. sunny and warm! I almost put a t-shirt on to go for my lesson but had already put on my nice thin fancy riding shirt so I kept that on. I ate a quick lunch, grabbed a load of the more important items of laundry and grabbed Dan.
It ended up being quite cold and windy at Silverthorn so I was really glad for my long sleeves and then Kelli had given me a jacket over the weekend as a hand me down. But it was super cute and it was perfect for todays weather, so yay! I was warm and comfy.
So... Kelly got on first and did some warming up. She walked, trotted and cantered. And even she had him sneak into the right lead the first time she asked for the left. Dangit! So yep. We determined that when he tracks right, he dumps right. When we track left, he dumps right. But.. she was super excited about how much more consistent he was in the contact from even a few days ago. He did have a few strides of that rein lameness with her too, but it went away really quickly. She played with some leg yielding in and out at the canter with him to help get him straight.
Then it was my turn. We talked about how last time when I said it wasn't even so much the shoulder as the ribs that Kelly agreed. And it's not the ribcage yielding to my leg.. he goes sideways well. But he goes sideways like a plank. He needs to bend his ribcage... lift and contract the inside and stretch the outside (What Cindy has been saying). And it has to come from my leg. So.. we did the same thing as the last lesson. Keep the contact and ride the triangle with his shoulders being straight between my hands and his nose being straight between his shoulder blades. Going to the right I had to keep him bent right and off my inside leg. And I had to encourage the inside bend with the reins a bit more when we cantered, but the goal was to soften as often as I could so I didn't end up hanging. And it did get better. It started as a bit of "manhandling" but then I was able to soften and he was actually starting to bend that ribcage. And because he likes to hang on the right rein, I had to be very cognizant about giving that inside rein and encouraging him to drift out into the left rein. But tracking to the left, I had to almost ride him to the inside... almost ride outside leg to inside rein. Which became very evident in the 10 meter canter circle. And tracking right.. it was all inside leg!! Duh... Tracking left, It was still right leg...And while I'm riding outside leg to inside rein there is also very much still a supporting outside rein. So... yeah! Very fun ride and he definitely felt much straighter at times. We're still a little wiggly as I'm figuring out the aids and he's figuring out his balance but... it's just about the straightness.
Oh, and we did play with shoulder in. It was pretty cool. Kelly painted a nice easy picture... (and again, I know this... but having it spelled out to me in the heat of the moment was helpful). When we are doing our shoulder in right, it's harder. Because he doesn't want to go into the outside (left) rein. So I should feel that he becomes heavier in the contact in the left rein if I'm doing it right. And focus on his shoulders. Again, it's not neck in, it's shoulders and even some barrel in. It was very unsteady but man.. when we got a few steps of true shoulder in... I could definitely feel the left rein contact get better and I could soften the inside rein. And again, it's a rhythmical asking of the right leg in his barrel, not just nagging and flailing at him. Ask when I can influence it the best. Then tracking to the left, it was easy because he wants to go into that outside rein. But I had to still be careful to not get too handsy with the left rein. It needed to be active but not too active.
So yep. Very fun ride. :) We're making progress! And now I'm feeling much more confident for the recognized show in February!!!
After my lesson I swapped my clothes to the dryer and then Dan and I went for a short hack. :) It's so pretty there!