Not really, but Katai sure thinks I did.
L has been recommending that I do a walk only ride for a while now. Normally I work her suggestions into my rides the week following my lesson, however, this one has been tough for me. I’ll plan to do a walk only ride and then Katai will be going so well that I decide to just see how she’ll be at the trot, then she’s great at the trot and I’ll decide to just see how she’ll be at the canter.
This week was great though because I’m still slowly working to increase the number of rides I’m putting on her each week but she is still seeming a little tired or sore after a couple of more intense rides back to back. Plus, since I ended up with plans on Tuesday and needed to ride Monday (her normal day off since it’s right after her most intense ride of the week at my lesson) and Monday was spring shots day it was a great day to just stick to walk.
I started Katai off on the lunge and did have her trot a little in each direction since I knew that loosening her up would actually make her feel better. She was noticeably tight going to the left (probably all of those left canter transitions to help her rider) but not bad, just a little muscle sore. Then after a couple of circles in each direction at the trot I unhooked her from the lunge line and mounted up.
She was ready to be resistant to start off. Katai always feels a little icky after shots plus the muscle soreness so she was ready to be fussy if I asked for much but after I changed from loose reins to more contact a couple of times she relaxed and stopped being as sucked back and resistant. I had set up a single ground pole, that was just slightly raised, horizontal to the long side and used that to do some serpentines, 20 meter circles, and an exercise that L had me doing (sans ground pole) where I started about 3 feet from the wall on the long side, walked toward the other long side, halt, turn 180 on the haunches and go back the other way.
|So jealous of you jumpers and your diagrams so I figured I'd make my own.|
Adding the ground pole in the center gave her something else to think about and something for me to aim at so that I could keep us going straight. Plus, picking up those sore back legs was a good stretch for her yesterday.
After a couple of those I got cocky and decided to try a walk pirouette. Without eyes on the ground I guess I don’t know for sure but it really felt like we nailed it! She was forward but we made a nice small circle with her haunches and she never got sticky or stuck. I only did a couple and then she got pats and I dismounted.
Where we struggle is her intensity and tension but she more than makes up for that in maneuverability so things like this are just easy for her. Now we just need to do more lateral work! That's where I struggle with my maneuverability...