Just another rambling fool at WordPress.com

Ride and Shine

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(Bully)

*

In spite of everything that’s been going on I’ve been riding a lot. I’m actually kind of proud of that. Not that I don’t normally strive to ride every day that I can, but lately there’s been more than a few days where my get up and go got up and went. Sadness will do that to you. But yesterday was another two-horse day and both rides were quite good.

I’m working with a new (to me) trainer. I’m very please and excited about having access to her services, although I have to admit I’m suffering from some serious brain overload! But overload in a good way! Lots to think about before, during and after every ride. And Dharla is handing things well and responding nicely. I see a lot of “try” in her. I know I’m not always giving her the best support, yet she does her best. Yesterday we had some major background noise and distraction when our neighbor closest to our arena started clearing brush with industrial-sized equipment. They were nearby, but not visible, which normally would result in  Dharla  coming unglued. Fortunately, in our last lesson we also had a noisy, scary distraction that was out of sight, so I got an opportunity to work with Stephanie on how I could better manage Dharla’s energy in that kind of situation. I immediately went to work on circles, serpentines and some walk-trot transitions which put Dharla’s focus on me. In a matter of a few minutes we were back to working in a relaxed manner and all the crashing and shredding noise was forgotten.

Today we were distraction-free so I got to work on getting some nice relaxed bends in my circles. Dharla can get stiff and point her nose to the outside and I tend to collapse my inside shoulder, drop my gaze and tilt my head in the direction we’re circling. This morning I was able to focus on keeping my shoulders square, not collapsing to the inside and not tilting my head. (And looking UP) It’s a little like rubbing your tummy and patting your head, but I could immediately see how much better Dharla moved when I got the heck out of her way. Yay! I could feel when she gave her head nicely and was able to quickly reward her each time with a gentle release. I also did about ten or fifteen minutes of ground work before we started, which I think got her attention and focus more connected to me before I even got on her. I plan to continue with a bit of ground work prior to doing our ring work.

If the weather holds I’d like to try to do a trail ride tomorrow. All work and no play is no fun.

4 responses

  1. Sounds like you and Dharla are coming along together nicely! Good to hear that. 🙂

    May 14, 2016 at 7:29 PM

    • Thanks. We’re a work in progress for sure.

      May 16, 2016 at 9:29 AM

  2. Yay for riding!

    May 17, 2016 at 10:39 PM

  3. I know exactly what you are saying. I used to feel guilty at not riding Raven more often, but Sue does almost daily, and so that takes some of the non-earned “shame”. It’s okay.
    I have found that ‘going back to basics’ has helped me a tremendous amount. I ride bareback most often. I concentrate on ‘soft eyes’, deep breathing, keeping everything aligned and keeping my core engaged. The last one is the most difficult for me, but I think I’m better for the efforts. I can now ‘feel’ all his feet. Just riding at a relaxed walk has really brought me far.

    December 26, 2016 at 11:55 AM

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