Things can get crazy in December and this year is no exception. We are on the birthday/Christmas countdown, the temperatures are dropping, and riding is hard to fit in.
But, I managed a quick ride on Sister on Friday afternoon. We tacked up and lounged in the outdoor arena and Sister was more settled than last week. Some walk into trot to warm up with a little leg yield and posting/sitting trots left and right. Sister is getting better bend to the left and is more steady in the bridle (mostly). C suggested less trot work and more canter - perhaps LEFT LEAD! So, we started with right lead, tried to set-up with haunches in, so, with a minimum of fuss, we got right lead when asked. A couple of laps around the arena and downward transition into posting trot. Sister gets a bit fast after canter, so we do figure-8's for calming and then ask for right lead canter again. Good canter work. Time to quit while I am ahead? C said no..... So, reverse and set up for left lead canter depart. Advice from C: put haunches in (or shoulder out); give half halt with inside rein; ask for canter early as we come down the long side (so that if we get the wrong lead, we can just do a figure 8 and circle on the correct lead rather than immediately correcting when she does get a canter). So, haunches-in and ask for left lead canter. The depart was to long, so the haunches drifted straight and we got rt-lead. So, went with it for half the arena and then asked for trot. Tried again with same result. The biggest problem was the 6-stride transition during which we lost inside bend and got the wrong lead. So, one more try and WE GOT THE LEAD! It wasn't pretty - felt rushed and heavy. But we cantered the entire arena before we dropped to trot. And then asked for left lead again and got it but also got the dreaded kick-out. Decided to accept the correct lead and overlook the little kick. But, we did get 2 left lead canter departs. Yeah!
The rest of the weekend was a blur. The Annual 4-H Awards Banquet most of the day Saturday. Then, Nutcracker and a party with the Wyoming Hot Flash Girls and the annual YaYa Party Sunday night. Nancy hosted the YAYA shindig in her beautiful home and since I was late, Sherry took my food and dirty Santa gift - but Inquiring Minds want to KNOW! Who got the Dirty Santas?