I opted for a second lesson this week since we are headed out into the wild blue yonder on Sunday. Had to fit the ride in between the early morning thunderstorms and the expected storms this afternoon. It was very humid which means that the bugs were particularly voracious. When they are this bad, I have found that the fly spray is almost a waste of time and money. I resort to smearing the clear formula Swat (http://www.bigdweb.com/SWAT-OINTMENT-CLEAR-6-OZ/productinfo/9320C/) in strategic places to keep the flies at bay for the duration of the lesson. It does a dandy job and is pretty impervious to sweat.
Ms. C had me school the various test movements as well as tell her each test each test to make sure I know where each movement starts and ends (Intro C, halt at G..). Ike’s right shoulder can be dominant some days, so I use my right thigh to combat the “push” I feel against the saddle. This works against us on centerline because he then overcorrects and the left shoulder falls left which equals crooked halts. The other problem we were having is Ike’s right flexion. This was the issue of the day. Somedays, today included, it is like wading through partially dry concrete to get that flexion. If I fight for it too much on centerline…left shoulder falls left, right hind is to the right and we have the start of a “crab trot.” See the May 29 post for the explanation of the crab walk and trot if necessary. Free walk was adequate as was Ike’s walk. Trot transitions were hit and miss.
The boy was also fired up today for some reason. Maybe it is the unstable atmosphere due to the storms. In any case, he REALLY wanted to canter. So we didn’t. He needs to learn to wait for the cue. Of course, that being said, I’m sure at times I inadvertently shift my weight and he hears canter transition. Today, he wanted to be in charge of the gait we were riding. He got one past me, and it took all my strength to shut him down; he used that massive giraffe next against me.
Overall, he did well when we schooled each test. He did get to canter the two circles of Intro C. Quite the expressive right lead canter transition. Some might call it explosive! There were moments of our 8 trot and 7/8 free walk. I wouldn’t complain with straight 7’s. Would you? Can’t guarantee that we will find it on Sunday, but that won’t stop me from trying.
Have my ride times. They are only 20 minutes apart. Awesome. Only have to have one warm up. Intro C is up first followed by Intro B. Tomorrow will be a short barn visit with some tidying of the whiskers, mane, and tail. Still debating braids or no braids. Come back Sunday and find out!