Sooooooo, the past few days have had non-equine activities to occupy my time and wallet. My SUV decided that it was feeling neglected, so it blew a tire. I spent Sunday morning having new tires installed – cha-ching. My poor therapy dog had been nursing a hind leg injury for a few weeks and went three-legged lame Sunday morning. He spent the day yesterday at the vet’s office. At his pick-up appointment our vet broke the great news that he blew the ACL and he needed surgery. We are well versed in doggie knee surgeries since we nursed him back to health two years ago from his first surgery. Awesome. We were sent home with Rimadyl and Tramadol and a surgery date. Sigh. Just to keep things interesting, my husband’s cold reappeared. I’m hoping that the cooties don’t make a reappearance for me, but I’m glad that Ike and I had our weekly lesson today in case they come calling.
We started off slowly with absolutely no rhythm, connection or energy. Ike even decided to pin his ears when I asked for a little more gas. Multiple transitions later, Ike decided to pass gas. Ah, so that was the issue. Now let’s continue our lesson unencumbered. Ms. C really had me focus on riding a circle – not puttering in a round like shape – riding every stride, looking ahead, planning my half halts, asking for the correct flexion and bend. To the left, we nailed it with very little effort on my part. To the right, well, hmm, let’s just say that if I put on the cruise control, Ike doesn’t turn, and Ms. C fusses at me (and rightly so) for not maintaining focus and letting Ike straighten. Her words, “He is ready to learn this, but it is up to you to help him learn. You let him leak to the left and You lost that outside shoulder.” Double sigh. So much work. But she is right, so I tried again and we nailed it.
Lateral work is progressing. We don’t get too greedy and Ike’s tolerance for sit trot is helping our progression. This rider definitely maintains a better connection from sit trot and has better control of her aids. A Grand Prix rider I am not.
Our canters today were delightful. I can’t wait for the day that we can achieve this caliber canter strides in public. Ike came up and out of his withers and the hind end came up and under that loooong back. The right lead canter was aaah-maazzz-ingggg. “Ride that canter!” I heard as we nailed the transition. The right lead was collected, rhythmic, and through. Ooooh. I want more of that. But I am riding a four-year-old, and soon Ike said he could give no more. That is okay, he gave us a preview of what is to come.