The temerature was freezing but the sun was out and the wind was not. So, I put on the wonder winter riding boots, fleece pants, thinsulate everywhere possible and went to ride Sister on this first day of 2011.
We had a great ride!
Sister worked well on the lunge line so I worried a bit about the ride to come. Mounted and made short work of the walk/trot warm up. Worked on the feel of proper body alignment - ear/hip/knee/ankle - and tried to keep toes rotated in. The mantra and questions in my head sound like this:
shoulders level? hands steady? elbows in? seat deep? heels down? chin up? hands steady? Sister bent with circle? elbows in? reins soft? heels down? Sister giving to bit? elbows in? hands steady? Sister positioned for transition? seat deep???
Alot for me to keep track of but, based on Sister's work today, we are making slow progress. More things to work on: wrist straight and reins back/down for left bend rather than up and to chest or over withers.
Sister gave me canter transitions with-out kickout. All correct lead. Left lead was VERY slow to develop but canters were good when finally taken. We finished with some backing. Ask for whoa then add the lightest bit pressure that gets the back and keep legs light. When haunches fall out, move shoulder over rather than pushing the haunches back. Sister was very good so we walked back down the hill to the barn and, with the wool cooler on to ward of the chill, had a little hand graze.
Tomorrow the girls and I will join the YaYa's for a trail ride at Paula's Walkerosa. The weather promises to be perfect (for January) and it will be wonderful to ride with friends in the new year.