Saturday was a ride in which both Flambé and myself worked with our horses to be a little less spooky under somewhat challenging conditions. The melting snow created a very noisy waterfall effect on the outside of the arena. For most of our ride it was so loud that we had to shout to be heard. By the end of our ride, the waterfall sound had disminished and one could hear themselves think again. It was colder on Saturday and Ashke took longer to warm up, plus I hadn’t ridden since our lesson on Weds night, so he took a little bit to relax and stretch. I don’t think I got him as warm as I could/should have before attempting our changes, but he was pretty solid anyway. He just got tired a bit quicker than he does when I have him warmed up.
Our first attempt at the drums with flying changes.
Overall, I can’t complain. He listened and tried, and I think it would have been better had I gotten him a little warmer, or if it had just been warmer yesterday. We tried one more time, but it was a struggle. I need to figure out what I have to do differently to help with the right to left flying change. We are struggling with that. I’m really having a hard time in shifting my weight to that new hip.
We didn’t complete the third circle, because I could feel him struggling with the exercise.
I will try it again on Thursday during my lesson.
Today was much better. It wasn’t raining in the arena (no waterfalls) and it was almost 50 inside. Most of Amanda’s students were there and it was a lot of fun riding together. Ashke warmed up really well and I could feel him stretching nicely through both hind legs. We had a lovely ride, even if he started a little tense and hyper alert, since Beau was in the arena, as was Kat. Getting him to stretch into his trot was the challenge of the day and keeping him relaxed when we started our canter work.
He is so good and we are starting to figure it out.
I do want to talk to Amanda on what I can do to help shift my weight to the right hip when asking for the change, since I know I am creating this issue.
We finished up with some canter half-pass and then tried some canter leg yield with poor results. He would much rather change his lead then hold the bend when moving in that direction. I asked Amanda why it was so hard and she explained that I need to use my thigh and not my lower leg when riding the leg yield. I need to keep the cues very clear. That is something I need to work on at the trot, so will start focusing on that when leg yielding in my rides. I was very pleased with the ride, overall.