Today’s Ride.

March 8, 2011

I rode again today; yes, I have been riding way more than normal. Even during the summer I don’t ride this much. LOL.

I arrived at the barn after class with absolutely no motivation. For the next few hours, I stood around and talked to people. My trainer went out and got Fred for me, because there was a massive amount of mud and he didn’t want to come up to the gate. I had lost my boots I usually wear, so she was nice enough to risk her clothes for me. One of the horses, not Fred, sprayed her with mud. It was sad. Then later, I proceeded to tell her how awesome I was and that I can barely lift a 6lb medicine ball with my legs.

OKAY! But enough of my coolness. So, two of the girls at the barn decided to ride with me, which was pretty awesome. I asked them to play the “cut off game” with me, and because my trainer teaches us proper ring etiquette, they didn’t feel comfortable. I will find somebody though! ARGH! So, I rode for about a hour. One of the other ladies came in to ride with us… which was… interesting. *No public bad remarks, but HAHA!!!* We worked on Fred getting crowded, backed into… backed into… backed into… stopped in front of… backed into… well, you get the hint. Which, ironically, that was exactly what he needed! He was being a funky canterer the second direction (ouchy foot direction), so I tried not to canter him too much that way.

I planned to work on some figure eights– trotting I am okay at. Cantering… well that was interesting. You see, when I got Fred, I used to have major problems circling him. He wouldn’t circle, he would just go faster and bend his neck. So, I haven’t tried to do any circling patterns with him since about 3-4 years ago. Eeeek.  So, I tried today and realized: that is one of my show problems! He really speeds when he is not on the rail (*ahem* and sometimes I have a hard time keeping myself on the rail). He also kind of veers to the side because he is so big. I was able to sit back and keep him from speeding too badly but I could NOT get him between the poles I had marked for the middle of my figure eight. It was not happening. It’s kind of frustrating but I realize I always did patterns on horses that you did not really have to do much on but sit there. Fred is a big-ass horse. You actually have to bend him properly and help him do the circles, patterns, etc. and I haven’t yet got to work on those things yet because of our confidence issues.

Well, the good news is… my trainer says she thinks we are ready to advance to “off-the-rail” work. She says she can see I am working hard and am “doing a great job”. I’ve been waiiiiiiiiiting for her to tell me I could advance and start working on some more off-the-rail work. I think it will help me out IMMENSELY in the show ring because when I am off the rail, I won’t feel completely uncomfortable. I will be used to it and know how to steer, navigate, slow him down, etc… so I am totally excited for my next lesson!

Also, I am totally excited my trainer thinks I’m ready to advance further! I’m really proud.  I’ve been working my butt off. I’m done with my anxieties getting in the way of me improving. I’ve been riding for thirteen years, it’s about time I show it!

WE ARE GONNA KICK ASS THIS YEAR. (After we get this off-the-rail stuff figured out. Wink.)

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