We worked in the indoor arena today.
I got to the barn a little bit before Nicole and spent the time brushing mud out of Ashke's coat. It looked like he had laid down in the sun during turn out today. Only on one side. From the side of his face to his butt. We had sun earlier and I am hoping he enjoyed himself. After the grooming, I braided his mane into nice, thick braids. He was very patient, almost falling asleep while I did it. I saddled him first to let him get used to the girth and then tightened it slowly in between braids.
When Nicole got there we saddled up and went to the indoor arena. After about five minutes the only other rider left and Nicole and I had the place to ourselves. Cali was being a bit of a youngster and fighting with Nicole. Ashke was being a bit of a pill himself. I think his back might have been a bit sore to start with, from the training system on Tuesday. He struggled to trot, kept his head up and was stiff to start with.
He definitely wanted to canter and so I asked him to going to the right, since that is the direction we need to work. He picked up the correct lead, but was off balance, choppy and fighting the bit. I brought him back down and worked him forward at a trot until he was balanced and moving well, then asked him for the canter again. He lifted into a sweet little lope, on the correct lead, without fighting my hands. We circled the arena five or six times and then slowed down. I let him know what a great horse he was.
Then we turned and did the same thing to the left.
I really wish I felt like I was riding better, because I think he would go better if I was. I'm just not. I'm not riding the way I did 20 years ago. I am struggling to move in time with Ashke. I think I am also trying to ride in a way that I've never ridden before.
Nicole complimented my new riding breeches and is very happy with my conversion to English riding style. I just wish I felt like I knew what I was doing. I wish, sometimes, that I would wave my hand and be twenty years younger, but with everything I have now. Yes, I do know I can't, but I think wishing you were younger is something people do all the time. I don't mind the wrinkles, although I could do without the extra baby weight I am carrying. (And yes, I know it's been 13 years since I had a baby, but still).
It is starting to be light enough at night that I think we could do a short trail ride after working in the indoor arena, but it wasn't to be tonight.
Ashke seemed fine when I took him back into the grooming stall. The pressure pads from the saddle were even on each side. He didn't seem to be over sensitive. I wish I knew a good work out schedule for him so I'm not overdoing it and he is progressing.