Sunday, April 25, 2010

Last Two Rides, April 22

A bird got into the riding ring during my last lesson, so Cheryl decided to open the end door to let it out. There were bars across, so Rogo couldn't run out, but the door being open made him very excited. He wanted to run outside. His excitement was a little over the top so Cheryl thought I shouldn't ride him,
I longed him and he tore around. The stirrups fell off of the WOW saddle I'm trying out. (Turns out they were Bates stirrup leathers and the saddle requires WOW). Anyway, after the that we did free jumping with him and then I got on a walked him around, which he was super with - marching right along, steering and bending beautifully in a nice contact. Without stirrups Cheryl had to give me a leg up. Not an easy feat for her considering I'd never done this before, I'm 5'9'' and Rogo is 17 hh. Cheryl is about 5', a brittle diabetic, and neither one of us is getting any younger. We were laughing so hard I always wiggled off the other side.
Yesterday I longed inside, with the door open, while Doug had a lesson outside. Rogo was a little inclined to run to the door but worked through it quickly and when Doug finished his lesson we went outside to ride. Rogo doesn't seem to mind at all when Savannah leaves the ring and he's left by himself. He went really well. I think I'm finally getting a better feel for him.
We worked on walking circles and steering and turning. Then I was going to do some trot circles but he went into a canter and I let him, since he's not over eager to carry a canter inside. We cantered around the ring and I was able to steer him to stay in the ring and not run up the hill. Yeah! He didn't run up the hill once. I was even able to cross the ring at the canter before we reached the end of it, so hopefully canter circles won't be too far off. He carried his canter very well. Unfortunately After the first one my back went out on me :( Not fun. I did a few more canter but the trot to get there was murder so trot circles were forgotten for the day. I've got to get to them soon though. Rogo was very good in his canter - strong and forward but not foolish or out of control. It was soooo amazing. I don't think I fully appreciated it at the time as I was concentrating on not letting my back pain ruin my position. It was full of good firsts though - first time he was 100% steerable (for where his balance is) outside at the canter (not easy for a young horse who's been in the indoor all winter), first time taking the same contact at the canter that he does at the walk or trot (I even kept my hands quiet and in a good position), first time I was able to get really into his rhythm and help both of us 'feel' it together. (Inside he's been too reluctant to stay in the canter for me to relax and do this. As soon as I relax he trots.) I was even able to keep my legs in a relatively good position - something I've struggled with with him. He's the first warm blood I've ridden and although I find his canter AMAZING (there's tons of power and jump), for some reason I can't keep my legs down and in the correct position. My heels tend to come up and my leg is too bent. I'm not at all nervous with his canter as I've learned to trust him(as he's the first horse I've ever trained I was when we first started cantering of course), so I don't know why this has been happening. Maybe we're getting past it?
Now my back is so bad I can hardly move. Luckily I already had an appointment with the chiropractor this morning, so I'm hoping she can get me back in riding shape. This is a real worry because it went out on me 3 or 4 weeks ago. If I'm going to keep riding, training and showing I can't have my back going out on me all of the time.

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