I've been a bad blogger... between wedding planning, house hunting, social gatherings, and a bachelorette party, I just haven't had a lot of time to spend with Lilly. I get out to see her often, but I don't have time to do much more than check her over, brush her, fly spray her, feed her hay, and shower her with kisses. I think she forgives me, but I still apologize when I see her.
I was hoping to attend a show on Sunday, but it just isn't going to happen. I haven't had any time to ride, so I don't think it would be fair to drag her up there and expect her to perform all day. I also have a dinner engagement that evening and I don't want to have to rush home from the show, so I'll just skip it. This hasn't been the best year for showing and busy doesn't even begin to describe my summer.
I did manage to ride today, although I had to make time to do it. We were supposed to go check out a new construction neighborhood before work today, but I decided I wanted to go spend some time with Lilly instead. We aren't finding any homes we like anyway, so I'm getting discouraged and frustrated. Lilly tends to make that all melt away.
Things started out a little rough because for the first time in her life she decided she was afraid of the mounting block. I decided I wasn't getting off the block and challenged myself to see if I could move her feet from the block. After some effort and a few smacks on the shoulder, she decided the block was okay and she walked up right next to it like she's seen it a million times... oh right, she has!
After the block excitement was over, I hopped on and off we went. For not having been ridden hardly at all in the past couple months, she did exceptionally well. Her jogging has come a long way and it seems to be something she's totally cool with now. She goes nice and slow and I can ride one handed without any trouble. She jogged around so nicely that I briefly reconsidered my decision not to show. Briefly...
Once she was all warmed up I decided to work her off the rail at the canter today. We worked on lead changes and going up the middle, and I made up little patterns for her to try. She has trouble going up the middle, especially if we stop along the way. Her "go button" tends to get stuck and she moves every which way but forward trying to figure out what I want her to do. "Go sideways, pivot, back?" No Lilly, FORWARD. She did really well, though, and we had a couple of really nice lead changes in there. They were all simple changes, but they were REALLY good simple changes.
She has really come along at the canter too. I think she remembered our conversation from last time and did an excellent job on her transitions and she didn't feel the need to run around the arena like a lunatic. I think the circles and lines and stops and everything else were were doing also helped. She had no idea what I was going to ask her to do, so she never really got her engine revved up. She's such a good girl. :)