Yesterday I began my Christmas/New Year mission to increase my own relaxation and bravery. I’m proud of how I did and how Robbye did, though there’s definitely a ton of room for improvement.
First, we rode in the outdoor as “on-the-buckle” as I could manage. I focused on sitting on my butt in a deep seat instead of the light, two-pointish seat that I use defensively. Robbye didn’t feel like stretching down – I think she wanted to work with some contact…which I’m not going to argue about! When I picked up the right lead canter she bounced into a round canter with her head low and her nose in. I decided to end our arena work there!
We headed out to the back field and I was very nervous. She crossed the creek perfectly, but picked up some tension as we entered the field. There were lots of mildly scary noises, but I focused on my deep seat and tried to breath normally. We got about halfway around the field, then decided that was great for our first day back and turned back. One corner of the field was particularly scary and I didn’t want to make any bad experiences, so I got off and hand-walked her past it. Once we were past the corner though, she let me mount from the ground and we rode past the barn! Neither of us was ever really relaxed, but it was a cold, blowy day with lots of weird noises, so I’d say it was a great start.
I also jumped Dallas last night. He’s very forward and picks his own spots, which is nice to ride. Since it’s been raining all day, I’m going to try to jump Robbye tonight. Maybe I’ll set a fence at 2′ and jump it ten times.