Had a lovely ride on Ike yesterday – his friend Lady was also working while we were in the ring. She obviously has a magnetic force field around her because I am unable to stop the drift when we get close to her. No amount of inside rein, outside rein, weight shifting, or leg pressure can stop the force. (cue Star Wars Darth Vader music) Even when she is not in the ring with us, we still fight the drift, but girlfriend exacerbates the problem. At least we will be alone in the dressage ring to ride our tests. Let us hope that we don’t drift into the dressage ring and knock it over or slip out of the ring at A for an early departure.
It is Friday which means it was lesson day. Ike was a bit choppy to start. Why? Not sure, cooler weather? tight saddle? just because? Did part of my warm up in a half seat which does seem to help him get the engines going and the energy flowing over the back. Ms. C had us practice turns onto and off of centerline – ” keep your rhythm on the turn, don’t drop your hand, keep your weight to the inside, you dropped your contact, half halt and pick him up. Sigh, I am a mess sometimes. It is the plight of the amateur dressage enthusiast. My aids are not always perfectly timed, and then there are times that my aids are timed correctly and Ike says, “Oh, were you talking to me?” The centerlines are pretty darn straight IF I do not let my line of sight drift. Focus, focus. It was very obvious that when my eyes looked left our centerline drifted left. Ms. C could see it as could I when I checked out the line in the sand.
Canter transitions and circles were decent. Poor Ike tries so hard to get the correct lead even when his body betrays him. He will even attempt a flying lead change to correct himself if he picks up the wrong lead. I am fairly certain that a flying lead change would be frowned upon in the Intro C canter circle and would not earn us any bonus points. When we do get our correct leads, the canter circle is round and the down transition smooth. The trot coming out of the canter is always lovely – just a half halt or two to slow it down a bit.
We, OK I confess, I tend to let Ike get a bit flat and strung out on our long diagonals. Yet again, a half halt to the rescue and we present a much pretty picture. I am beginning to believe that the half halt is the secret ingredient to a higher score.
Ike has an awesome free walk. The pitfall comes when it is time to pick up contact – he like to show off the giraffe neck before he accepts the contact. Again, no bonus points for having the longest neck.
Ms. C also worked on my position in the saddle. I have many tendencies (read: flaws), none of which will be fixed in a week’s time, but one must try.
Hoping to get a ride in tomorrow before the rain arrives. Sunday looks like a wash. Good day to clean the tack.
9 days to go.