It's true. Lilly and I have done very little in the way of actual work these past several years. Between all the hoof issues popping up, the craziness that is my life, and a myriad of other excuses I can think of, we really haven't practiced much of anything for an extended period of time. I'd get a ride in here and there, but I couldn't really work toward making us better, because the rides were too few and far between.
We do well enough to squeak by. We're consistently the okayest horse and rider team out there.
Lilly is awesome, and I was reminded of this last night when I was talking with my barn owner about buying horses. She's in the market for an OTTB she can use for dressage and jumping, and we were talking about how much we enjoy our predictable horses. She's a little nervous about starting over with a new horse. She's had her mare since she was a foal, like I have with Lilly, and we love the fact that we know our horses inside and out.
|I'm just glad she didn't tear anything... just sayin'.|
Overall we had a really great ride, considering the temperatures and the fact that I haven't ridden in months. I rode for about 30 minutes, which is what I'm going to stick with for now, just so we don't overdo it. We did mostly trot work, with lots of circles, changes of speed, and ground poles. I threw in a canter every now and then and the transitions were spot on, but I can tell she's not strong at all.
The usual issues were present, and I want to acknowledge them, so I can work on making improvements.
- When she thinks she should be done jogging, she roots with her nose. Maybe I give her too much credit, but to me it feels like she roots so there's contact with the reins and she can say, "sorry... I felt pressure on the bit so I thought you wanted me to walk."
- After cantering in the first direction, she gets anxious about cantering in the second direction, and doesn't really settle back down until we do the second canter.
- So by the time we canter in the second direction, she's like a rocket, and it's difficult to get her to focus. While trying several different tactics with her yesterday to try and fix this, I might have found a solution, and that's simply to pick a point in our canter where she's done something marginally well, and praise the living daylights out of her. This really helped her settle yesterday, so I'll be trying that one again.
- After cantering in the second direction, she speed walks around the ring. I can mostly get her to focus on work again, but the walk is super fast.
These are definitely minor things, but they're issues we've had for a long time that I just kind of let slide. I want to figure out a way to get past them so we can move on to bigger and better things!
|Such a pretty girl!|