Monday, May 20, 2013

Lesson #28: Mind of His Own

Last Friday, we had the opportunity to ride outside: I love riding outdoors.

I got reunited with my unicorn and with the seasons having changed, he is now raining white fur on everything. My jacket is covered in fur and so is ADW's car (Sharkie). Grooming him is also a big chore since he's shedding so much that the curry comb is clogged with fur so I'm constantly stopping to clear it up. While I have Aspen, ADW is assigned Indy! We head out to the outdoor ring and get ready to get our guiddyup on.

I work with Aspen to be sure I'm not balancing on his face and that my posture is upright, open and straight. I usually catch myself slouching which seems to place my upper body precariously close to the horse's fore body. This tends to be problematic when the horse pulls forward or otherwise and I have nowhere else to go with my hands but forward and I often am pulled forward. I realize that when Sheri is telling me to keep my elbows at my side, that I should have my chest open and my shoulders back. Unfortunately for me, my day job is essentially a desk jockey and this lends to my poor forward leaning posture. However, once I start reminding myself of this, I notice that things feel better and I feel like I have more control of what's happening.

Now, that's me but what about Aspen? He's in a little bit of a mood today and he wants to run a smaller circle around the ring and at the start of the lesson, I spend a good portion of it trying to get him to move outwards. He's also in a following mood and when Buddy tries to canter, Aspens does too! So I end up spending a lot of time readjusting him to do what I want.

We work on a lot of trot--both seated and posting and some directional changes. Nothing way out of the ordinary and all good to continue to improve our balance and feelings with the various gaits. We transition into canter from seated trot and Aspen takes off in a wonderfully smooth canter. So smooth, I wasn't sure if he was in fact in canter! What a wonderful feeling it is, to be able to ride a canter several times around the ring with good control. To go at that speed is exhilarating!

ADW and I switch things up because Indy's doing his twisty gaits where he's leading with his inside shoulder and it's really strange for a newbie rider b/c you don't quite know what to do because it's distracting! Anyways, he's being a bit of a suck today and doesn't want to canter no matter how many times I try to initiate.

After untacking and grooming, we take the boys to paddock 7 to have a nice long weekend break. Paddock 7 is a huge paddock with lush grass, a pond and space to gallop and frolick. Aspen is dragging ADW to the gate and as soon as I let Indy go, they gallop right down the hill and off into the distance! Sheesh, I spend all lesson trying to get Indy to canter and he takes off in a gallop, when he's done lessons! *sigh* This just further iterates that you really can't force animals to do something they don't feel like doing...


  1. haha the ending was so funny. you'd think they were tired based on how they acted during lessons...but think again!!!

    1. can't get animals to do anything they don't wanna... unless they view you as herd leader...