Friday, May 17, 2013

Another Ride In

With all of the housework going on... every day after work, I managed to get a ride in. After, I went home to paint, blah! The ride was great, though. It's been warm a few days this spring FINALLY so I took the opportunity to work on some color (not) and even got to wear a tank top. Oh, spring, I need you, but I need summer more. Since it was feeding time, I grabbed him from his paddock to come in to eat. He called for me at the gate which was adorable. I'd like to think he does this because he's happy to see me, but I'll have to ask those who feed if this is the case. How cute.

We rode on the track after I got on because there was a lesson going on in the ring. On the track, we were a bit drifty since it was feeding time, but I made sure that he was listening. We did w/t, worked on our stop, and back. The back needs to be fixed! I worked on picking up the canter in each direction with different footing than we're used to. The sand is a bit deep, and the area we work on has somewhat of a slant so we're going up and down "hills" aka a high area and a lower area as we work in a circle. Is this good or bad? I'm not really sure, but I do know people say to work on hills for the canter... this is far from that - it's really just a slight incline/decline.

The lesson came out of the ring so we worked over there a bit. As soon as I got in, we trotted the entire perimeter. Usually I let him "look" at everything, but we're been in here enough that I decided to give it a new try. We worked in our usual circle with the canter, and then, I ventured out into the ring to canter. We cantered all over the place, but if Spyder gets off of a bend/circle like movement, we're back to trot or pace. The good news, no kicking out! He'll resist the canter if he doesn't feel like it, but once he picks it up, I can push him up a bit and out! We'll still need to work on consistency and the fact that we need to work up the muscles (and get past his lazy side), but it was so fun!

Wishing Well
I knew I should have left it there, but we didn't even ride for 20 minutes. I decided to jump the wishing well that we usually do to work on the stop, but we got a canter after instead! I just kept pushing the canter and the direction I wanted him to go. I think he likes it? It's funny because he used to canter to be "bad" and now that he's being taught it, I wonder if he still feels like he's doing something wrong. I guess not if I'm asking him to canter and he's moving into it. It's great to know that his response time is much better than before, too.

I was looking around the ring at some of the jumps, but they were set higher than we normally do. Well, yesterday they didn't look that big because the grass is really tall. Umm, what am I doing? I decided to jump a vertical that looked a bit scary to me when the grass was cut, but hey, what the heck? We jumped it quietly and cantered off of it... and I wasn't nervous! Hopefully they cut the grass out in the ring soon so I can come to my senses, but I just had to keep going.

We walked out of the ring and away from the barn to test Spyder (because again, I couldn't leave it on the other 5 good notes I had). We worked our way down a small bank and across the track to some more ditches/uneven ground to work on his feet and balance. Yes, we tripped up a small hill of dirt before. Spyder needs to watch his feet! We walked along his paddock by his run in and walked up another "hill"... the same one we'd tripped over before because he doesn't always pay attention. Whoo, no tripping!

Can I go eat now?
After that, we still weren't cooled out so I took my feet out of the stirrups and we walked quietly on the opposite side of the barn by the cars, round pen, and empty paddocks without a flinch. Can you tell I'm feeling better on him? We got back to his stall, and he just wanted to get to his hay. I hosed him off before putting him out, and he kept trying to drink from the hose. Looks like Spyder might be learning a new trick!

His annoyed face