In Which We Missed in the Mist
|like this. every time.|
I really wasn't planning on riding yesterday.
The weather was fairly horrendous - very windy, cold and wet. And while I'm not usually a big weenie when it comes to weather conditions, let's be real, no one wants to be outside for any length of time when it's 40 degrees, windy, and raining.
But by the time I got to the barn to clean my stall the wind was dying down (miracle of miracles!) and the rain had subsided to a chilly mist. I mucked and considered riding. Still undecided, I brought Dino in and groomed him. Well, now my pony was clean and it wasn't TOO awful out, and I really need to continue getting him fit, and our first scheduled event is only a month away...
So I slapped on some half chaps, saddled up and rode.
And even though it wasn't a majikal ride, I'm glad I did.
Dino and I only had to have one serious conversation about going forward, and I'm really proud that I was able to shut it down and re-direct him before it became an all-out brawl between the two of us. After I had him halt early on in the ride so I could tighten my girth and strip down a layer, I asked Dino to trot off again and he gave me a big fat "NO". Seeing where it was going (nowhere good!), I hopped off and immediately lunged him around me on the end of the reins. It totally diffused his resistance and he hopped right off into trot on the tiny circle. Success! Once I mounted up again Dino was perfectly compliant and responded appropriately to my leg. We trotted. A lot.
The canter is always the game-changer for us in terms of waking up the pony and getting him actually moving in a direction that resembles forward, and I spent a lot of time in half seat hand galloping down the long side. After we cantered both ways (with a lead change, woot!) Dino felt so much looser and had a lot more pep in his step. I wonder sometimes if I should just start right off with the canter, but then I also wonder if I could actually get him TO canter without trotting forward first! This may have to be an experiment...
I wanted to jump around a bit, and started with a biggish crossrail with a brush box in front.
Aaaaaand couldn't find a distance to save my life.
Dino was offering an under-paced canter, not really taking me to the base at all, and instead of letting go and kicking on, I just sort of stared at the jump and did nothing, which resulted in some incredibly awkward spots. On the bright side, Dino landed in much better balance than he did in our last jump session, so that's progress!
I just kept trying at the crossrail and a small gate (2'3 ish) until I figured out how to ride FORWARD! Shockingly, once I stopped staring at the jumps and rode better, the jumps came up out of stride. We achieved a good distance at each fence off our more difficult lead, and at that point I got off and called it a day.
So, not a world-beating, record-breaking day, but better than no ride at all!