Sunday, September 7, 2014

Lesson #128: Finding that "Moment" of Relax

I was completely exhausted on Thursday and quite honestly, part of me just didn't feel like getting into the car to make the drive out. A large part of me wanted to stay home and relax because let's face it... if I go, there is a chance I might have a sucky lesson. But at the same time, there is equal chance of having a fantabulous lesson. Like my coworker L always says, "you can't win that lotto if you don't play."

When I get in, I see a white horse up on the far west corner paddock looking curiously over my way. It tosses its head and goes racing around the paddock in... Ariel fashion. Just as I've been told, she's being put into a single paddock (she can still see the other horses but just doesn't have any to boss around) so that she doesn't take down the fence line to get cozy with the other mare or otherwise. As I am walking up to the paddock, I see her doing more of the racing around and head tossing and she comes raring to the front of the paddock and stops on a dime. She's so ready to get out.

After tack up, we get working on our usual bendy warm ups in the arena. Tonight, G's riding and J's on Hank. Again, I'm particular about Ariel's movements and I don't allow her to fall in at corners and I push her onwards when she doesn't feel like working. Next task, cantering. I get nice clean transitions upwards and was able to move my own position into a better place while relaxing my hips and getting into a "zen moment" to be able to focus on my hip movement with Ariel and then encourage them to follow Ariel's motions. I also remember a video that I had watched online about "How to See the Perfect Distance" and while I'm not quite there, I did take away an exercise that they did in the first part of the video series where they are collecting and extending the canter between two ground poles. I change nothing else and sit up some more and she begins to collect herself into a more "up and down" canter and then I let her open up by moving my weight a little forward. It works! I finally feel what that collected and lengthened canter is like and I know how to get it. Next time, I'll need to feel out how many strides it takes for it to take.

After several rounds of canter, we move to get into jumps. We take each one, singly and then once we get over them all satisfactorily, Sheri puts them together in a mini-course of 3 jumps. We do take jumps at the trot but come out at the canter. My 2-point isn't as good as it should be as often, I end up doing that "bow" instead of hip hinging. However, there was one jump that I knew I got it right on... where Sheri commands "relax!" and I can feel my body relax and fall into a proper 2-point. Of course, the third jump in that round was miserable and I have to try again.

We end the lesson with a nice cool down on a loose rein and I pop out my cell phone to snap a photo of Ariel's neck:
Bendy bendy!

No comments:

Post a Comment