I just finished another amazing riding lesson with Ashley. Now that I’ve taken my ibuprofen, I can sit long enough to blog about it!
We started with Kobi and while he is still doing that funky thing with his head at a trot (almost tilting it so his ears point the inside of the arena and his nose is out), it’s much better and gone completely at the walk and canter. She suggested that I twist my hips, ever so slightly, and keep my inside shoulder twisted just a hair. This way I’m helping set him up to also lean in a bit and get his nose where I want it. He’s coming along nicely in the other areas: keeping his feet tracking under him, not leaning on his right shoulder as much, and varying his speeds within the gate. We only worked for about 25 minutes, but with this heat, humidity and gnats, we were both dripping wet.
Now for Sugar, that wacky mare. When I’ve been working her (at a walk only) and get her on the bit, she walks sideways – when she walks at all. Ashley recommended I be a bit heavier handed with her than I have been (which is so much easier to do when someone is on the ground seeing everything & can pick me up if things go awry!) When I would use a little more inside leg on Sugar, she’s not trying to break into a trot like I thought; she’s getting miffed and swinging her butt around like she wants to kick (I don’t think she ever would though – takes too much energy). Also, as soon as I pick up on her reins to get her bending, her tail starts swishing in agitation. Mares! Being heavier on her worked much better (and yes, I even used the crop to keep her lazy butt moving forward). We worked for about 20 minutes, just enough for me to learn what I needed to before giving Sugar a break. Her neck muscles are out of shape and not used to bending and flexing (even though we stretch every day now), I know she can’t keep it up for long.
It’s not even 10:30, but time for a nap!