Sunday, May 15, 2011

Back & Better Than Ever

Well, I don't know about the 'And Better Than Ever' part, but Cadence's first two lessons back did go rather well.  We had a flat lesson Friday, which we mercifully got in before the rain hit, so we had it outside!  I love riding outside.  Not that I don't appreciate having the indoor, but having 'grown up' with only an outdoor, it really does start to seem claustrophobic by the end of the winter.  We also haven't had much of a spring this year.  Its gone from freezing to 70+ weather this week.  In fact, I had the joy of doing my flat lesson outdoors, in 70+ weather, in jeans and a long sleeved shirt.  They've messed up the weather every single day.  Friday was supposed to be cool and stormy, hence my jeans and long sleeved shirt.  However, it was over 70 and sunny.   I would be happy about that if I didn't have heat stroke as a result.
The lesson itself went well.  Cadence was rushy and excitable, a result of being outside and having so much time off.  She was doing things like breaking into canter when we were supposed to be collecting, which is pretty unlike her.  She's normally so good!  Not that I mind, I love that bit of pep and really it's just her expressing how good she's feeling.  She was wonderful when she settled, and even her canter slowed down!
Our lesson today was just as successful.  She has definitely lost a bit of muscle though.  Combination of growth spurt and time off.  Anyhow, she had a bit of trouble with the whoa-waits in the canter (balancing her canter back, and then letting it back out to normal).  Fine in the trot, but couldn't hold more than 3 canter strides.  Also, I did notice that when we're jumping, she goes all crooked on me again and sometimes gets stiff right and hangs off that rein a bit.  All easily correctable, and I guess its good that we've noticed it.  That way it can be corrected.
She is learning, though.  We had one incident that really prooved this to me.  We were cantering into the little oxer, and she still isn't too keen on cantering in slowly, so she got to a spot where she either had to go long, or balance up a bit and get in a little deep.  From our work thus far, everything suggested she'd go long, but she went for the shorter distance and popped it beautifully!  Much to my surprise.  It wasn't pretty or graceful, but she didn't hurl herself over it.  She balanced, and really used her instincts and body to get the job done!  Smart pony :)

I've also been lucky enough to ride Arty a little over these past few days.  I'd intended to ride him Thursday and Friday, but when I went out on Thurs, I spent most of my time just grooming him.  What was left was used up by a quick lunge session.  He's lost so much muscle :(  He couldn't hold the canter on the longe.  Aww pony.  He had some trouble coming on the bit.  Lack of muscle and... well, practice have not helped
 Most of the time he looked like this
 Or like this
Or even like this
 But rarely like this
Or like this!  Western pleasure pony!!
( I would cringe if I saw someone else lying on a horse like that...)
Arty looks like he's taking a nap!

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