To start off, this weekend I ride on Saturday, lesson on Sunday and then I’ll be going to see H ride in a dressage schooling show at a gorgeous facility on the west side of the twin cities!
The following weekend I don’t have any current horse related plans but then after that (sort of the following weekend) I’ll be riding in another Suzanne Winslade clinic on May 9th! So excited for that one.
Then, next weekend I have vacation Thursday and Friday with Friday being the start of the MN Horse Expo!! I LOVE going to the horse expo and usually take a day off so that I can spend a ton of time there. In the past it’s been an hour drive for me but now it’s actually within walking distance of where I live (I’ll be driving so that I can do more shopping but it will be a short drive) so that will mean that I can literally spend the whole day there on Friday. On Saturday I’ll be watching H ride in a Janet Foy clinic (!!!) and then we’re going to the expo after and finally I have my lesson on Sunday.
Then there will be another couple of quiet (maybe) weekends and finally on May 29th Katai and I will basically be doing our first real show. We did do one previous schooling show but I rode in the ring that I was used to having lessons in, with my instructor as my judge, and before the show actually started since I was able to be there then so that doesn’t really count.
Speaking of that, I’m so proud of both Katai and myself for our ride last night. To start off I really was thinking about not going. I know, I know, I’ve been trying to actually get 5 rides in for a few weeks now but it was gorgeous out and the plan for riding was to ride indoors. Plus, the next day was supposed to be nice as well and I was going to spend the afternoon/evening at the barn again getting Katai’s feet trimmed.
However, I did make myself go and was so happy that I did. It was very quiet at the barn, probably because everyone else was outside enjoying the gorgeous weather, so that meant that I got the arena to myself and we used all of it. To start off Katai was a little bit short and seemed stiff. I’m sure it was because she tore around on the lunge line yesterday in deeper footing but it did make me wonder how productive our ride was going to be. I ended up being surprised and pleased with her behavior since after our warm up she went right into work mode.
We did a lot of our ride using the whole ring including working on some leg yield. I definitely need to get my body in the right place but right now part of the problem is that when we start going straight down the quarter line Katai knows what’s up and gets fussy. That then makes it hard for me to concentrate on what I’m supposed to be doing and just doesn’t set us up for success. The focus last night was to get rid of that fussiness and make this just part of the routine so that Katai continues in the same balance and remains on contact. Then L can help me focus on myself.
After we did several of those in each direction, playing with staying on the quarter line or sometimes doing a leg yield in either direction, and Katai was calmer and less fussy and took a brief walk break we did some walk/trot/walk transitions. This has always been a struggle for Katai but last night they were better than they’ve ever been. She was staying on the contact and not flinging her head in the air and I could really feel the power coming up and through from behind rather than feeling like we were falling apart on the forehand. She was also really responsive to my leg and going right into the trot when I cued rather than making me beg for it. Even better, she didn’t lose her mind the third or fourth time that I cued for it which is a huge improvement since these normally make her pretty hot.
Finally I decided to ask for a small amount of canter in each direction. Instead of asking her to do it from a slower trot I sort of let her run into in but I was concentrating on myself and making sure that I wasn’t hindering her forward movement by grabbing. Probably because of this, she did a really nice transition without throwing her head in the air and she remained calm and cool through the circle or two that we did. Going to the left, my tough direction from Sunday, I was focusing really hard on my left hand and keeping it forward (again I didn’t have enough contact but that’s better than jerking back as she makes the transition) and we had a lovely transition. She really sat and pushed forward and again remained calmer than she has.
The wheels fell off a little when we came back to trot. Katai was bulging her left shoulder into the circle really bad and didn’t want to bend. Plus she was like a runaway freight train and not listening to my cues to slow down. I got a semi decent half circle and then called it. I really didn’t want to work her into the ground especially after the rest of our ride was so nice and she normally has been doing really well in her trot after canter.