Sunday, March 2, 2014

Lesson #76: Staying Organized

Remember last weekend? I was done with winter. This week is like a bad relationship that I'm trapped in and can't wait to escape from. *sigh* We received another pile of snow in the GTA and in Hillsburgh, it was snow drifts of ~3ft and -15C. Nobody can say this winter hasn't been a test of dedication and patience.

We had choices today... Quinn, Ariel or Molson. +ADW picked Molson and I decided to get Ariel. Since I'm riding a total of 9 times this month (yippie!!!!), I figured that I'd get another chance to ride with Quinn and I had a successful lesson with Ariel last time so why interrupt the streak? And what luck for me: when I went to the paddock to grab Ariel, she actually trotted over to me and looked forward to get inside to work! I took advantage of this eagerness and didn't hesitate to lead her into the stable.

Today was a lucky surprise... I splurged the day before and bought a saddle pad from Bahr's Saddlery. If you think that Greenhawk is great, Bahr's has even MORE stuff and feels organized; I didn't stay long since we had another appointment to rush to but long enough that you could probably leave me in there for a good hour or more, alone. +Laura, you were looking for a special dressage whip? I think that you might find something comparable here (they do online orders)! Anyways, we rushed our tack up today b/c we were running super late. By the time I got into the arena, I was tense and rushed.

We spent a good chunk of time warming-up and getting our trot into a steady rhythm and slowing my Speedy Gonzales of a pony down. Sheri was reminding me I needed to relax my ankles and let my weight sink down (I remember when I had no idea what this meant) and to relax my hips as they were tense (were they ever!). This all showed up through Ariel doing a choppy trot around with her head held high. She was telling me to "chill the heck out, dude!" To get there, we worked on lengthening their stride, slowing our posting, relaxing our bodies and breathing deeply and slowly.

Once this came together, our next aim is to translate the same quiet and relaxed trot, to canter. My canter transitions are still something that I need to work on because it's generally a "hot mess". None of the zippy rocket take off today. I reminded myself to breathe deeply and to gently and slowly ask for the transition up. I did accomplish this a few times and it's such a different canter to have a nice smooth take off instead of the abrupt departure. Something to aim to consistently do. Once we got around this a few times, we got into jumping some low straight jumps with trot poles advance of the jump. My crest release is awesome during this section of our lesson because of that "click" moment when I understood what was being asked of me. I got left behind a couple times but not enough to bother me when I did successfully accomplish the 2-point over the jumps.

I definitely left the stable feeling pretty good about myself and am looking ever more forward to the coming season! :)

Posting Diagonal Jar Tally: = 2 x $2.00 = $4.00
To date: $101.00

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