This week has been a major blur and the time completely got away from me; sorry!!
I'll just give some highlights. Last Friday, I didn't ride, since we unloaded six wagons of hay. After that got done, my dad picked me up, and I spent the weekend at home. It was great to spend some time with the family, my horses, my girlfriends and my boyfriend. Saturday, I went downtown with Troy, and on Sunday, Veronica and I went on a trailride across the road down by Andrea's house (for those of you who may want to explore those fantastic trails, make sure you stay on the edge of the paths and try to not go through any muddy areas!). I rode Goldie and Veronica rode Megara, who was just coming back from an abscess. The horses were great, the sun was great, and some "girltime" was great. After the ride, I had to help unload a wagon of hay and do night chores. So much for the day off, haha!
Let's see... Monday. It started off by getting up at 5am, to get to Jeanie's for 7:30. I slept most of the way down. When we got there, at 6:30am, I tried to go into the house, but the door was locked. As I turned back to say so to my mom, I see her glaring at the truck, with our puppy bouncing around inside it. The darn puppy locked the truck door with the keys still in it! It took and hour and a half to get back in.
The rest is all a blur and mismosh of days, so I'll just write who I rode and what I did on them. I rode Ezra and Mandy twice this week. One day, Jeanie and I switched on and off horses. I warmed Mandy up for Jeanie while she worked Ezra, then we switched. With Mandy, I really made her stretch to the contact and rode her very deep. When I got on Ezra, I worked the shoulder-in, haunches-in, and halfpass. A really cool exercise that i learned is to leg-yield with a lot of bend to the longside, then halfpass right away. It really helps to get enough bend in the halfpass, which I seem to have a lot of trouble with. The other time I rode Ezra, we worked on half 10m circles, returning to the track at the corner, to a full 10m circle on the shortside, to shoulder-in down the longside to the middle letter, to a half 10m circle, etc. That was mostly to get a connection to the outside rein. We also did a counter-canter exercise. Canter on a 10m circle, then counter-canter on a 20m circle. Each time you reach the centerline, switch back to the 10m circle. It really helps with balance, and is great to teach changes according to Jeanie. When I rode Mandy today, we worked on really establishing an outside rein by circling with her haunches out, walk-and-canter pirouettes, and switching from travers to renvers.All things that I have trouble with on all horses.
I rode Weide twice as well. We worked on canter pirouettes, which I had a lot of trouble with, so much so that Jeanie had to get on and remind Weide what she was supposed to be doing. I could pirouette fairly well to the left, but when going right, her shoulder would pull her left. I had no clue what I was doing, what she was doing, and was really, really, confused. By the second ride on her, I was able to do them both directions, but only fourth-level worthy. I can't get them on the spot yet. I've been struggling with the one tempis for a while, and I finally got them!!!!!! All it took was me sitting up more, almost to the point of leaning back, and using my feet more than my hips. Nora trained her to do ones by sliding her legs back and forth, where Jeanie retaught her to do them more with her hips and shifting her weight. I had to do it by riding strongly, and almost thinking about tapping her with my heels. It really helped to be on the quarterline, so I was able to look in the mirror, watch her feet, watch to make sure we were straight, and really be able to focus on something. I'm very excited about that!!!
When I rode Flagg when I got back from being home, I had no steering or breaks. he was great on the lunge, but when I got on, he basically ran away with me. He had had three days off and is still a baby, so I know that that often happens. Since that failed ride, we can steer again, stop when asked, and have a much better frame while we work. We're teaching him to move off of my legs so it's easier to steer and connect the outside rein. I haven't cantered since that last time, but we're making progress. It's especially hard for him right now because he grew. He is SO butt high right now that he's forging, falling down, and finding it difficult to move forward. The saddle keeps sliding up his neck when we lunge and ride, which makes him really offended and agitated, so I'm constantly fiddling with tack. But that's a baby for you!
One day this week, Jeanie also showed Gilberto and I different lunging techniques. We learned about the sliding lunge, where the lunge line goes through the bit and up to the saddle ring, about where your hands are, to really help with bending and suppling. She also showed us a technique, that I can't for the life of me remember it's name, but the way you put the side reins lifts the poll. A German man created it. One pair of side reins goes to the bit like normal, but the other goes up the neck, through the ring at the poll, and down the face to the bit. You have to be really careful when using this technique, because it has killed horses before from them panicking and flipping over from too much poll pressure.
Well, I'm off to do night chores, then I get to spend Sunday at home. Next week will be really busy because GMHA is the following weekend, but I will definitely try to stay on top of this better!