Sunday, March 9, 2014

3-2-1 Contact

Anyone remember that show? Anyone? Bueller?

Anywayyyyy. My radio silence has an explanation this time: My super cool girlfriend was in town! She came to the barn with me, of course, and rode a couple of horses. She also did an excellent job taking pictures, and now I gliterally have 300 new photos of me riding Lex. Most of them won't see the light of day because I have a dumb expression on my face or something, but I am THRILLED to have these. I hope I can look back on them in a few months and be all, "Dude, we've come so far." I'm not completely happy with my riding this week, and Lex deserves better, but instead of being sad that I don't think I look like a good rider in these pictures, I'm going to use them to double-down on my efforts to improve my position.

I took a lesson with D yesterday, and even though at the end I felt like an idiot -- an exhausted idiot, at that -- she was very positive about it. She even said it was our best lesson yet. I just felt physically weak, like I couldn't get my legs to do what I wanted them to do. When I got off the horse, my legs were shaking. That's unusual for me and I'm not sure what's up. But I'm not going to use that as an excuse. Whatever was going on, I should have had better basics in place than I had. (Girlfriend thinks I'm being insane and rode fine, but I think it's her job to say that.)

The good news is, Lex really IS coming along with the contact education. We're not totally there yet, but she's made a lot of improvement in the last week. She's also lunging like a pro, all relaxed and happy and not cutting in or trying to stop all the time.

I even sucked here: lunge whip pointed at the ground? What?
What is my right arm doing?
We worked on several things in this lesson. Rhythm and relaxation are always part of the plan, but we also worked on changing direction/bend across the diagonal without losing the good trot. Right-to-left is easier, as it has always been.

I love my mare, I really do.
And D really thinks that Lex couldn't have had this frame even two weeks ago:
Nose poking out a little!!!! Excitement.
 We added in some cavaletti. I've trotted Lex over single poles on the ground a million times, but it's been awhile since we did trot cavaletti. In fact, I'm not sure we've ever done them 3-4' apart, only 9' or so. So the first time we approached it she went UM SORRY WHAT?! I legit did not see this coming.

You guys. My leg. So SO embarrassing. What is happening to me?

We walked through it a couple times and that went fine, and then commenced trotting. She got really good at it and I focused on making sure she got to the first pole correctly and wouldn't have to reach for the next two. Once she understood the exercise, she did a great job.



When we switched direction and went left, she got a little tense but eventually calmed down nicely. She never tried to stop or wiggle out.








We also cantered on both leads. It was a little hairy at first, but she settled in both directions.
The right lead was better.
In the end, we were both pooped but happy. Well, I was very happy with Lex, and less happy with myself. She didn't punish me for bad riding, and I appreciate that. She's a good girl.
Tired but good ponynose.
More to come soon! Now I'm gonna go ride Lex so that I can meet Tracy this afternoon! I get to see and maybe even ride the famous Miles. Exciting!

16 comments:

  1. Haha, totally know what you mean about the pictures. I keep having rides that feel GREAT and then I see the pics/vid and I'm like "OH GOD NOT SHARING THAT".

    Ha.

    Yeah.

    Let's just say green horses do nothing useful to my position and effectiveness.

    Love all the shots of Lex! She looks incredible so whatever you're doing must be working. :D

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    1. Thanks for your empathy and kind words. I'm not sure what my problem is, but I'm focusing really hard on riding better. Maybe I need to track down more horses to practice on. Or perhaps I should quit riding and take up knitting. :)

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    2. It really does help to sit on a broke horse every now and then (complete with pictures or video), just because then you can see that you really do know how to ride. ;-)

      But yeah. Only sympathy here.

      Hey, in a couple years we can bitch about how we don't know how we don't remember how to ride greenies cuz our horses are so ridiculously broke!

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    3. Ha! I kept your last point in mind while I was riding today. A good reminder to slow down and enjoy this process.

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  2. Ahh! Little Miss Lexi is looking so, so good! Look at her TROT ALL THE POLES! I love her.

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    1. Thanks! She loves you too, Carrot Lady!

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  3. Lex is looking good! Glad that you got to spend some time with your girlfriend and that you got a bunch of fun pictures!

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    1. Thanks! :) It was a lovely week all around.

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  4. Lex is looking fantastic!
    Don't be so hard on your self, photos are stills of a moment in time not necessarily what is happening ALL the time!
    Green horses & concentrating on doing what trainer/teacher says can lead to less stellar photos.
    Chin up, I think you guys look fab

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    1. Thanks -- I think Lex is learning, and I am too, and that's what matters, not photos... I'll just keep telling myself that.

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  5. She looks great! Stop worrying about your position. With green horses the focus is getting it done without being killed not looking perfect :)

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    1. Haha! Not being killed has definitely been high on the priority list this week with our new outdoor riding regimen.

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  6. She is just beautiful! I love that her expression seems thoughtful around the poles :)

    I always make goofy faces when I ride, always a let down when I see them after! ha!

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    1. Aw thanks! She's a very thoughtful girl. I think she'll be careful about jumping once we get there.

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  7. Replies
    1. Thanks! I'm just gonna keep focusing on her in these shots!

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