Monday night I was determined to ride regardless of the spitting rain and 9000% humidity. Work was hectic and busy, but I have found that riding on Monday night helps my week feel better in general and I am not feeling the end of the week “want to lay on my couch in my pajamas and forget the world” pull towards my couch.
Upon leaving work, I got Wyatt from his pre school, fed and hayed the horses, and made dinner so I could let it cook in the oven while I rode. Right after I plopped it in the oven Dusty got home and took over playing with Wyatt so I could go ride. It was spitting rain and I didn’t care. I was going to ride.
Gem warmed up really well. She was either tired or in the mood to play along because for once she waited for all my cues instead of trying to trot when I want to walk and canter when I ask to trot. Maybe the two days a week riding is starting to pay off?
I didn’t spend much time walking since she was listening really well and actually bending in the corners and around my circles. My inside leg on her side to help with bend is still resulting in her scooting forward, but Monday night I was able to counter it with a half halt that she actually listened to.
After walking a little I worked on her turn on the haunches again. Mare had spent some time thinking that one over and was ready and willing to move her big butt this time without the pinned ears and angry faces. Moving to the left was easier than to the right and after a few cues she decided she would appease the annoying blob on her back and just keep going one direction all the way in a circle. Mare is too smart, so I began alternating right then left then right then left. I always have to stay one step ahead of her.
From there I asked again for the walk and got up in my two point for the challenge. She was much calmer this time, lowered her head and trucked along as I dangled above her wondering how long it had been and surely it was already 10 minutes and I can quit. Um…yea it was 57 seconds. Ok…try again. The second time I made it 1:22 before a combination of sheer boredom walking around aimlessly like that and a burning in my peroneal tendons conspired to make me sit. I’ll take it though. Almost a full minute longer than my baseline.
Then it was time to trot. Gem picked up the best trot I have ever felt from her. It was soft, it was light, it was floaty and best of all she was listening, bending and easily brought down by tightening my core or sent forward by a simple change in my posting. I was grinning like a fool. We circled, did serpintines, did figure 8s, and since she was being so darn good I had her go down the long side of the pasture at the trot with the goal being maintaining the pace and rhythm and she did it wonderfully. Typically a big open straight away would see her zooming along by the end or breaking into canter. Not Monday.
The original plan was to do more canter work, but the trot was so amazing, and usually goes down hill after cantering, that I didn’t do it. I should have. It is the only way to improve, but the work we did was light years better than any other ride I’ve done all summer and early fall that I didn’t want to ruin it all.
It was a good time to end too. Once I got her tack off and her let loose again, the oven timer was going off and it was time for dinner. It worked out pretty great.
I’ve also had my little dilemma for the week solved for me. I had Wyatt scheduled for a lesson Tuesday evening and myself on Wednesday. Tuesday morning I got a text saying that the arena was too wet for a lesson. Kinda odd since he is only doing walk on the lunge, but there may be rules in place regarding footing that I am unaware of and it isn’t the first time rain got my plans cancelled. Well, when I got that text I figured I’d just give Wyatt my Wednesday lesson time and then plan to hit up cross country with KC and her friend on Sunday. I rescheduled my lesson to next week and all is well. Now lets hope the rain stays away so I can go on Sunday!