Weekly Riding Recap: March 6-9

Weekly Riding Recap: March 6-9

I’m headed down south to Arizona for six days of vacation, so this was a very short week!

The top of Telegraph Hill in Yuma, AZ, March 2016.
Me forcing Lexi to pose for photos… and the Trainer making a cameo in the background!   😀

Monday I saddled Lexi up in the 15.5″ Circle Y I had on trial (quick recap: it didn’t work out, the seat was super comfy but the stirrups didn’t go high enough and the leather was too bulky under my thighs) and we spent our lesson time working on more shoulder control and counterflexion at the trot. She hated the counterflexion. At some point she locked up so badly that she refused to move at all, so I asked nicely a couple of times and then nailed her with my spur. She threw me a kick out with her entire hind end, so I dug my spur in again and then worked her through it until she stopped misbehaving.

At the very end of my lesson the Trainer decided to have me throw in a couple of trot to lope transitions (!). It didn’t look pretty (she did the typical green horse thing and got stuck super far behind my leg, then sort of cantered up instead of forward), but it was exciting to do a little bit of loping under the Trainer’s watchful eye, since that means the lope is now something I can work on during my non-lesson rides.

Tuesday I intended to spend a fair amount of time working on the trot-lope transitions, but my plans changed when the Trainer ended up needing the saddle I typically use on Lexi.

I went and took Ezhno for a walk instead (after giving him a small dose of oral sedatives) and, outside of spooking at my car right at the start, he was very well behaved and we walked around in the arena for ~25 minutes.

Then I put a bareback pad on Lexi and did a light walk/trot workout. Her back’s very broad and she was very comfortable!

Look at that huge back. It’s like sitting on a couch. ♥

My Wednesday group lesson was a mixture of pattern practice and a mock rail class (to help the Show Buddy prep for the schooling show this weekend, which I’ll sadly have to miss because of my vacation). We warmed up walk/trot and a tiny bit of canter (which was better than Monday, but still not great). Then the Trainer presented us with our pattern…

Be ready at Cone 1. Jog across diagonal to Cone 3. Lope right lead Jog around cone. Extend jog to Cone 2. Jog around cone. Extend jog across diagonal. Walk at Cone 4. Walk half circle. Halt. Back 6 steps. Perform a 360 degree haunch pivot. Jog away.

The turns in the pattern were very hard. Lexi’s so large that it’s a challenge to keep her organized enough that she doesn’t careen around the cones like an oddly articulated bus. The turns were pretty close to being a turn on the haunches in motion, so after our first spectacular failure we spent a good while drilling those (what do you mean, Lexi’s shoulder control needs work? 😛 ). In the end they were vastly improved… but the moment I started the pattern my entire sense of timing fled and so they never really looked as good in front of the Trainer as they did when we were off practicing on our own.

It was very frustrating! Guess I need more practice. 😎

We ended our lesson with two mock rail classes (one for equitation, one for pleasure). Lexi had some small problems walking in and out of the arena to the parking lot (“this is really weird and mud = BAD”), but otherwise did well. We traded out the lope for a good extended trot and she did a great job of going into the extended trot directly from the halt and then slowing back down to a semi-western-ish jog.

The Trainer had good things to say about both of us (except I need to lift my chin up a bit more), so I was happy with that. I’m sad I don’t have the chance to take Lexi to the schooling show so that we could do some walk/trot classes!

I had planned on getting one last ride in on Thursday, but I had a morning meeting for work that ended up running later than expected, so I rolled into the barn with only ~45 minutes to spare. I spent that time filling Ezhno’s hay net, taking him for a walk around the barn aisleways (it was pouring and the arena closest to us was busy, plus he’s well-behaved in the aisles even without sedatives), and fretting over last minute instructions for the Show Buddy (who’s going to fill his hay net while I’m gone and watch the weather in case he needs a blanket change).

Ezhno and the Show Buddy’s Arabian hanging in the cross ties like bros

I’ll miss him while I’m gone, but the Show Buddy has promised to send pictures and when I get back we should only have a couple more weeks of stall rest left before I’m hopefully back in the saddle again (even if it’s only at the walk).

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