Thursday, December 30, 2010

Riding in Late December

Windy and 60 for my Thursday ride on Sister after the 35 degree (35 is almost 40....) sun and no wind Sunday ride - Okahoma weather always lives up to its reputation.

Wild Orbans enjoyed the Christmas weekend and it was VERY COLD.  Finally, on Sunday it warmed up to 35 so I went to Che' Cheval to ride a bit with Mallory after cleaning stalls.  Mallory rode Trouper and had some lovely trot and canter work in the arena.  I lounged and then mounted sister and we worked on walk/trot transitions and left bend.  Sister gets very resistant when I push to hard for collection on the bit so I tried to keep bit acceptance with a little longer rein.  Sister was pretty good but I was not quite up for a canter fight, so we finished arena work and then did a little ride around the edge of the pasture.  Sister was quiet and willing to ride serpentine down the hill while Trouper was very anxious to go back to the barn so Mallory worked circles down the hill.

Monday afternoon, the girls, Kale and I rode a little at the Wild O Ranch - Kale back on Sunny after a long hiatus.  Pico spooked Ivy off within the first 5 minutes of warmup but she got right back on, Alaina reminded Diez that horses can carry people, and I worked on posting/sitting trot with Splash.  Then, Brandon arrived and took the reins on Sunny, Kale took Splash and we finished with a mini trail ride around the WOR.

Thursday's work with Sister started with lunging in the round pen.  Sister was very fresh and not listening so, lots of change in direction and canter until - finally - whoa when asked.  Sister was sweating and blowing.  So, mounted, we headed up the hill to the arena to join Mallory and Trouper.  Christian has moved a lot of sand from the east end to the west half so the footing is pretty good.  After a walk/trot warm up, I asked for right lead canter and got a slow, but no kick-out, transition - and good canter work a couple of times around the arena half.  So, good downward transition and then another right lead canter request - no kick, but left lead canter.  So, counter canter then good downward transition.  Another request for right lead canter and again, left lead with no kick-out.  So, next try, we reversed and asked for left lead canter.  Got it without a fuss and had a good left lead around the arena half.  YEAH! 

While cantering, I tried to work on sitting deep, keeping my hands out of Sister's face, keeping heals down and shoulders level.  I wasn't as steady left lead but I am slowly improving - I think?  Sister was blowing hard and I decided to cool down and finish the ride at a walk while Mallory did some canter work.  She and Trouper worked on figure-8 canter/counter canter circles and made it look pretty easy on the left lead - it was harder on right lead but they kept a few strides of counter-canter before the downward transition.  We walked zig-zagged down the hill as the sun went down.  Lovely.

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