Wednesday 30 May 2012

Getting Back On Track

I've been very lax about riding the last few weeks!
Between Kika getting turned out full time, thunderstorms then a sort of heat wave (by comparison to the rain during the thunderstorms) as well as friends visiting for weekends - Miss Kika has had very little riding, but I justify this to myself by the fact that she moves herself while grazing around the field and she is not cooped up in her stable 24/7 - Bad Mammy = Me ... I Know!

Anyways in the hopes of keeping this from turning into an essay, I did get my lazy backside in gear and rode on Saturday evening, Monday morning and Tuesday evening.

Saturday and Tuesday we worked in the dressage saddle, focussing at the start on getting a better walk with her carrying herself better aswell as bending better on the corners, circling and serpentines focussing mainly on myself to remember to give her enough time to know what I am asking of her and to allow her to do it without losing her shape - we are making some progress on this front ... I think.

Rinse and repeat the excersises in trot - all the while I've to keep telling myself to prepare the pair of us properly for turns etc and use the right aids/balance to help us keep together and not make things sharp resulting in loss of balance and loss of shape...bread and butter to most people - still baby steps for me!

Monday, I set out trotting poles for us - varying the striding (space between the poles slightly) and number of poles - the thought process behind it was to get her stretching and collecting slightly while keeping things fun.
We had run of three poles, 5 poles slightly further apart than the three poles and then 4 poles a little further apart again. The 3 poles were on a short side of the arena, the 5 were on a diagonal and the 4 were on a longside - all were inter-connectable with loops and turns to make a sort of course out of it to keep us twsiting + turning, balancing and to stop things getting repetitive.

Walk and trot were again very good - although this may only be in comparison to my poor canter work. Here I hold my hands up and recognise that it is short-commings of mine that are resulting in our poor canter work on the left rein, as the right rein works considerably more smoothly than the left - where Kika goes around with her head in the air most uncomfotably for both me and her.
I tried really hard last night to figure out where I was going wrong ... to little success unfortunately - I have asked L (The Guru) if she can help me out someday she has time. We've pencilled in for this coming Friday.

In my self-analysing last night i think i have figured out part of where I am going wrong, I was conciously trying to soften my hands and keep my leg on while attempting to lengthen my leg to put my heels down and sit my backside in the saddle - however i am still inexplicably gripping with my knees - making the rest very difficult and resulting in me bopping around on my poor horse like a huge uncoordinated sack of potatoes! :-/

Through all this experimenting and self-analysis Kika was an absolute angel (despite my awful attempts at riding canter) - she struck off on the correct lead each time, not once resisting or complaining that i was hurting her - which I must have been as I swear it cannot have been comfortable for her at all - and conscious of this when I knew I wasn't going to crack whatever I was doing wrong she got a whole heap of praise and "Good Girls" accompanied by lots of patting.

Thankfully and rather oddly we don't have these issues cantering on the right rein - which typically used to be our bad rein. But now works a gazillion times better, who knows how my mind works ... I know I don't but sure do whish I could have a guide map!

Today is a day off for Kika and myself as a colleague is having a going away meal this evening, I'll try to limit the damage I do on Thursday before hopefully having a lesson on Friday and perhaps getting some answers/making some headway on my poor left-rein canter. If not we'll just keep working on walk and trot mostly and wait till we can sort out the canter so that I don't go doing any damage by riding awfully!

Bet this is after getting really long-winded on me again - APOLOGIES!


  1. Not that long winded :) I'm glad you were able to get the rails back on the track! Keep it up! :)

    1. Thanks L, rails not entirely back on track.
      Huge issues remain with left handed canter - but these are m problems not hers...I just need to sort out my brain and find out why my body is tensing in the wrong places & at the wrong times.
      I'm hoping eyes on the ground will help me out before I drive the poor beasty batty...especially as she has been so good considering how little work i've done with her - she really makes me feel all warm and fuzzy with happiness at how at one with the world she is at the moment - Long may it last!

    2. Oh As far as goals go, this was a really good article in helping me organize my thoughts before embarking on goals!


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