Sunday, April 27, 2014

Lesson #92: Work to Live

I love riding during the week. When work has been a real slave driver without remorse, heading out to the stable to see Ariel always makes all the stress just melt away. And it helps that the days are getting brighter for longer so I'm not arriving there in darkness.

When we started warm-up, she seemed a bit slow and not her usual spunky self; I even had to use a crop with her right at the get go. I hate using crops. I find them distracting and not particularly helpful. This did get her going but I sure wished I didn't have to. We worked on lots of circles at trot, throughout the arena. We did both reins and ensured that Ariel was traveling along the rail and doing as I wanted her to do. Once I was comfortable with that, Sheri had me go straight into canter on each of those circles. But, we went left large first, to be sure that I was in control and knowing what was happening. The canter was beautiful: well paced and flowing while keeping control and no falling in. Next, *gulp* right rein doing the same. The transition was smooth but keeping her under control was not quite where it should have been; Ariel was speeding around the arena at what seemed like full tilt and I was having a little bit of trouble bringing her back. But, having tried again, it was better controlled and I realized I had to keep my outside rein in check while using the inside rein to guide her. In essence, the outside rein was reminding her that she wasn't to fall in--only to bend towards the inside. At least that's what I garnered from what I did right. As a break, we walk around and Sheri has me doing various stretches focusing on my hips... scissoring my legs back and forth and lifting them up sideways. 

Having accomplished this feat, my next step was to start return to trot and circles... and the exercise is: alternate a large circle then 20m circle at the canter. Left rein again, to start. Not bad! I remember that where I look is where Ariel will understand that I want her to go. We make it wonderfully. Next, right rein: she is careening around again and when I try to make the 20m circle, I nearly lose it but I remind myself to commit to the direction I want to go and to LOOK that way and turn my body. And success! While the zipping around was undesirable, the 20m circle was exactly what needed to happen just because I committed to it.

I end my lesson with some sitting trot at the 20m circle. Sheri tells me that there is no stopping this time, to readjust but to keep going and tweaking whatever it is that I think might be throwing Ariel off. When she's lifting her head higher or getting a choppy trot, then I know that I'm doing something she doesn't like. But, when she lowers her head and/or snorts, then it means she's relaxing and I'm doing something right. It also helps when I take check of what my body is doing.. particularly the areas I know tend to be off... like my right leg and my incorrect right side tilt during turns. I've come a long way where my bouncing isn't as uncomfortable as it used to be, and I was told that at some point, everything came together and Ariel was framing for me!

Posting Diagonal Jar Tally = 2 x $2.00 = $4.00
To date = $171.00

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