long day

Nov. 20th, 2008 08:38 pm
dancing_crow: (Kaboose)
Well, considering I was thinking I didn't want to do any of the things I had to today, I did great at many of them.

I attended Yoga thinking that it would be a win if I only did child's pose for the hour. But I went through most of the class, and worked hard, and felt much happier when I was done.

I knew I had to stick my nose in the neck of a horse, so I located my winter riding britches which was a good thing because I'm pretty sure it was about 29 degrees fantastically farenheit at midday. I rode Kaboose who started out tight and cold and spooked by the wind. After a good deal of trotting, she loosened up and settled down, and we had some really nice work at the trot and canter. With the cold there was one corner of the ring that was treacherous - a thin bit of mud over icy mud - and we had to be clever to avoid it. But I got some really nice bending in the canter, and a bunch of nice forward, brisk canter transitions. It is all about sitting and waiting for her to bring the canter up to me, not leaning forward to encourage her or anything stupid like that. The more it feels like I am waiting, the more clear and definite the depart is. Then the kind mare worked with me for a lot of sitting trot practice. This is one of those places where riding a horse is nothing like riding a bicycle. I remember being able to do this. I remember being good at it, and flexible in the back and solid in my seat. And now I am stiff and clunky on her back unless I am thinking about my seat Every Single (Fucking) Stride. So I practiced exactly that.

I rode Ruby just a little too. Before I did that I tried to get her to trot next to me around the ring. She freaked out at some leaves at the end, yanked the reins out of my hand and galloped madly around before stopping and walking up to me with the reins around one foot and stopping with her nose in my hand looking slightly embarrassed. I untangled her and we tried again. She was eyeballing me so hard she nearly tripped a couple times, but she did fine after that. And I rode her, walking and trotting, in straight lines and circles. She is such a baby, and doing so well.

It was family circus tonight, but poor Al spoinked something in his back and the girls were experimenting with a sling, so I ran through my trapeze routine twice, which was all I had strength for, and my hands are wrecked and I will have some awesome bruises tomorrow but I am tired and happy.
dancing_crow: (ruby)
Thursdays are insanely busy. I could change it, except most of it is good, even dropping into bed at the end of it.

Thursdays start with a yoga/pilates class from my South Boston guru (more on her another time) which really is just to get warmed up. I am not sure how much yoga helps my riding but it fells like a lot.

I rode Kaboose for almost an hour - she of the training and good nature. I am still trying to improve our canter departures, because it feels like no matter how together and light she is when I ask, she flows through my hands like water and buries her nose and runs into it. We got into a giant pulling match before I stopped doing that. I held with my shoulder blades but let her have my hands, and that got her both lighter in my hands and lighter in the shoulders. From that we got some better canters, but I still have so far to go.

Instead of riding Ruby, the baby, I followed good advice from every corner and got ready for lungeing again. This time we had a curcingle and side reins, and a soft lunge rein with no chain. I prefer to run the rein in the bit and over their head to the far side, so pulling (on either of our parts) won't slip the bit through. Lendon says it is OK, and lacking a proper lungeing cavesson it works well enough. And then we lunged. She did pretty well. We can whoa, walk and trot in both directions, smoother to the left. Up transitions are easier than down. There was no tension in the side reins, so I have to get those to a point where she has some contact (she is so SHORT!!) I didn't work on canter at all. What I did do was remembered from working with a Thoroughbred back in college. I tried to get her to make her trot slower and then faster and then slower, without breaking out of the trot. She seems to have done that before, or to be exceedingly intelligent. Both are likely. Then we tried making the walk slower and faster, and trying to get her halts solid at the end of the line, without turning in. the halts are definitely a work in progress, but she is comfortable with slower and faster, and I think I'll work on polishing that understanding for the next several lessons, both lungeing and under saddle.

The rest of the day was spent driving to Brattleboro for Circus classes, Aerin's followed by family circus, and making it home before I crashed.

I realized I have been accounting the complexity of the day by how many different pairs of pants I wear. Today was yoga pants, britches, jeans and back to yoga pants for circus. Most days max out at two pairs of pants, Tuesdays are three, only Thursdays have 4.

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