Wow, I've had the busiest two days and the week is just starting! Got thrown right back into the mix after a FANTASTIC four days in Birmingham, AL with my best friend and her beautiful dressage horse. I was blessed to get to ride him while I was there and since he's so similar to Pop, I felt like I hardly missed a beat the whole vacation! So I came home and we have had a very busy two days with gallops, cross-country schools, and 11 horses to ride/work with each day. It's been pure bliss, though. I love staying busy and having long days. And lucky for me, I have understanding friends and an understanding boyfriend that don't mind hanging out well after normal dinner hours. :)
Poppers is doing well. We had a jump school yesterday with C. I didn't feel particularly confident afterwards...we had several really rough fences and I was having a hard time (despite my determination) getting him to stay straight and not jump to the left. We're still having trouble with right turns as well (he likes to be bent right so if I don't use BOTH reins to turn we just go right with the front end and the hind end doesn't come with). I did try to ride a bit more positively to the fences and not lose my leg about three strides out while I panic because I don't see a distance. He did save my butt several times (God Bless him for that!). We are going cross-country schooling Friday or Saturday so I'm hoping it'll all come together when we're out of the ring.
Our flat lesson today was very tough and we had some REALLY good moments. We worked on straightness in his body and lots of leg yields to keep his haunches where they're supposed to be. Leg yields might be my nemesis forever. I twist my body, I twist my arms, I break my wrists. I lost his hindend, I have too much inside bend...the list goes on and on. I tried to stay straight and push him over evenly but I'm not sure I accomplished that. He was a lot better to the left (thanks to C's schooling while I was in Bham). I was having trouble getting him to truly let go in his jaw and back in the left lead canter...but after realizing my elbows were locked, I relaxed and got the most perfect, beautiful, light and balanced canter in the world for about 10 meters of a 20 meter circle. Yay, big pat! Good boy! Then C, ever the optimist, asked us to go down the long side and I lost the canter when I failed to keep his haunches straight and they went left and the canter became choppy again. That's okay, though! I felt how it's supposed to feel when it's perfect and now I will be striving for that every ride! And his trotwork after the canter is always so, so much better. It'll be important to remember that when we are warming up for our dressage test at Full Gallop! I'm so excited and nervous about it...but we gotta start somewhere, right?
:) All the other ponies are doing great. They're all so much fun in their own ways. Devon is settling in well and his sweet nature has made him pretty impossible to not love. We're excited about the fall season starting soon and getting on the road again.
'Til next time!