I’m reading a really great book right now, and it’s interfering with my writing, haha. I’ve also been sick, which means I haven’t been barning or thinking as much.
So, the past week!
Monday was a break.
Tuesday I cranked down the side reins, as Michele advised, so that her head was at the vertical. Wow, does it change her frame a lot. After we struggled through some longing, I got on her (with the side reins loosened, but still on) and we walked and trotted around. It was definitely a weird experience.
Wednesday I went to Connor’s football game. Another break!
Thursday we had a crappy o/f ride – Rob just would not jump…she kept running out, and I couldn’t get a good canter for the life of me. I started the ride with a lot of harder dressage work, and Carolyn said she had been running around in her pasture all day, so I think Rob may have just been tired. I certainly hope so. As much as I love dressage, I really really want to event, and I know I would terribly miss jumping if Rob decided it wasn’t for her.
Friday I had a lesson – my first lesson on the longe. Robbye got side-reined, and I was told to put my reins away. EEK! Overall, it was a great lesson, and I got a serious workout. I learned two main things:
- I really need to stiffen up my upper body. Maybe I should start doing crunches or something. Without the reins to help stabilize, I am floppy.
- My legs still need to come back. I did discover that I was confused about which muscles to use, so hopefully that will help in the future. I’m going to start working out said muscles, once I can find relevant exercises.
Saturday Rob got the day off. I took her portrait so I can add to her confirmation comparisons.
Sunday we did some serious longing. I set timers so that I could really make sure I was pushing her:
- 5 minutes of warmup – very little work, mostly trotting with a little cantering, and no side-reins.
- 10 minutes to the left with the side-reins fairly tight. Lots of transitions at all three gaits and to/from a whoa. I’m trying to teach her verbal cues and workout her self-carriage at the same time!
- 10 minutes of the same as above to the right.
- 5 minutes of cooldown – no work at all, side-reins off, walk only. She looooves to stretch her neck at this point!
I felt like the longing was actually very useful, and I think I’ll continue longing a bit before rides, if only to reinforce the verbal cues!