Monday, 14 May 2012

Getting Back in the Swing of Things

Made a successful return to the saddle on friday evening - we are still far from setting the world alight, but of the same token we ran into no major issues. I got a good 45mins of walk/trot/canter work done, circles/sperpentines/figures of eight and always rein changing to keep things interesting - while also trying to remember to keep the weight in my heels, squeeze with my calfs (not lifting my heels), more constant leg contact and less niggling with my heels (connected to previous point) and calmer + softer hands - more spongeing less sawing. Don't know how i picked up that nasty habit - ashamed of that one, my poor pet!

She then had saturday and sunday off as the Dressage competitors moved into the yard. Thankfully weather was lovely and sunny if a bit cold - I ended up missing most of saturdays activities, shame on me really as that was when most of my fellow liveries were competing! I did manage to see the RS kids classes on Sunday and the Kur, dressage to music class - it was at Level M, which is one rung down from S which from what i understand is below Prix St George/International level...but please don't quote me on that I really am not sure how the level systems work out here as i have not competed myself. I think it goes A, E, L, M, S, International...but i really am not sure! If i ever embark on a competitive career out here I'll find out and fill in the blanks once and for all - including the licensing procedure!

Anyways i snapped two photos of the Kur prizegiving.

Chestnut on the end is Le from our yard, only 16 years old and riding at this level!
And this next photo is to introduce you all to Alfie a fellow livery who partook in the prizegiving! He is a yearling now i think!

Le on Chestnut above was joint 4th in this class of 10 - 3rd from right in this pic

Got myself back in the saddle this evening (monday), on both occasions i opted for my general purpose saddle out of pure lazyness cos La (The Guru - not 16year old in photos) kindly lets me store my Dressage saddle in her locker as mine only has one saddle rack whereas hers has 2.
Anyways worked on mostly the same things as on friday, we had a bit of trouble with our canter on the right rein - the side i tend to twist on. I noticed Kika was all twisted underneath me, so i shifted myself to make sure my shoulders were in a line with hers and Ta-Da, lightbulb moment our canter was immediately better!
So glad i figured that one out on my own!
She is responding better to my leg now that i'm consciously trying to be less niggly with my heels and I'm trying really hard to keep my hands soft and sponge to as not to be at her head all the time. When I feel she behaves well it gives me more opportunity to refine myself and worry slightly less about her potential antics - fingers crossed we can continue on this path!
My hope is to ride in the dresage saddle tomorrow evening, then hopefully be able to use the jumping course that will be built for the lessons on wednesday - once they are finished with it.
Shall report back whatever we end up doing, :D

Also just so Kika doesn't feel left out of her own blog - here is a pic i snapped this evening of the Diva in the Solarium after her rinse this evening. I think I'm going to have to try to get myself organised and ride earlier now that the weather is heating up a bit - or else ride outdoors more as the indoors are getting quite stuffy and poor Miss Kika is getting quite sweaty during work. As we have to be off the yard by 10pm in the evenings i wouldn't have had the time to walk her off to dry after her shower this evening (no shampoo) - plus it was getting nippy, so i spoiled her with 15mins under the lights. Only her 3rd time under lights since moving here 2 years i don't really spoil her too much!

Classic OMG-Something-Moved-Out-There pose

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