In the meantime blogging again has got my riding more focused. I started keeping a paper journal beside Rogo's stall so I can write my observations about the ride as soon as I get off - what worked and didn't work, what improved, insights I have about my riding and immediate goals for the next ride. I think I'll go back to writing month goals and keeping a score card.
A couple of days ago I rode third level test one for the first time. It was very sloppy but we did the whole thing with all of the elements. Just getting through a test from beginning to end is a challenge for me :). I had a lung infection over the summer which left me with NO stamina at all.
Rogo's main area for improvement right now is more hind quarter engagement and taking more weight back. He gets heavy and too long very easily - my fault, I let it go on far too long. To work on this we're doing lots of:
- rein back, both in-hand and under saddle
- transitions within and between gaits
- caveletti and ground poles
- riding to music with a strong beat and being mindful of keeping the beat and not aiding except for an occasional quick, light ask (believe me it isn't easy and I catch myself slipping back to old habits all the time).
- getting Doug (my husband) to watch me and remind me to keep my legs off.
- I'm lining up a longe lesson with a teacher who's amazing with equitation
Monthly goals and score card coming soon. Here we are at the end of a recent ride. I don't ride him behind the vertical, but I think I'm slow to release at the halt...