Changing gears

Mister and I are going back to our roots, at least temporarily.  As much as I love dressage, Mister and I need a break.   And probably just in some training.  Mister has always loved to jog and even though we have pushed his trot out he has always retained his jog which we both love. So last week we decided to change things up. I want to ride a few western pleasure classes this year as well so for the next few months we are going to slow things down, work on his jog and lope transitions and in general take a breath. Already Mister and I seemed to have relaxed. Maybe it’s just me! All I know is that when I speed up I get more stressed out whether it’s at work or riding, when I pick up the pace I get tense, which in turn makes Mister tense. Last show season I worked on keeping myself calm which worked but it lacked shine and pizzazz.  I am open to seeing where we go.  I think we will come back to it and just go back and forth between dressage and western pleasure and will definitely keep doing western dressage. We worked on his lope and I thought it was going to take awhile since we have been working on pushing him out and speeding him up but we are getting it already!!

Our biggest problem which has followed us around for years is that he doesn’t stay in whatever gait I put him in, he will stop and I’ll have to get him going again.  I want to be able to cue him and then leave him alone until I ask for the next cue!  In the jog he’s pretty good but canter/lope he’s a bit of a quitter!  But we are working on it!  I’ve let him do it for years so now we are working on it. It’s just a matter of consistency.  I’ve always let him get away with because there was something else we were working on.  But now it’s time to get this nipped in the bud.  There’s always something to focus on and learn and that’s one of the joys of riding and working with horses-you will never learn  it all and you will always have something new to learn!!

So until  next time!

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Learning to fly!

A couple weeks ago we were amazingly able to ride 4 days and get back into our routine!  But it was short lived as winter always seems to get in the way!!  It was a pretty amazing week!   We were working on collections and extensions and really were getting it!  His trot was beautiful and getting the collection and extension seemed easy by the end of the week! We really were flying and then I was able to bring him back nicely and keep the energy flowing and feel the nice beautiful trot that I love watching! It was so nice to be able to ride for 4 days and not have the weather interrupt us!  We were able to get back in our routine and see more progression by the end of the end of week.  Oh well I shouldn’t complain too much as I have friends who haven’t been able to ride much if at all due to the weather!!

The next week I rode with people and pushed my boundaries a bit too much!  Sometimes you really do have to push the edges of your comfort zone.  I’ve been really working on handling unexpected things while I ride, about a month ago I rode with quite a few people riding and a horse lunging, people cutting me off and doing their own thing in the arena and not paying attention.  I handled it really well until someone left the barn and opened the door making a loud sound then Mister decided to buck a few times a quarter way around the ring!  Thankfully I stuck it out!  Mister calmed down then I made him work his butt off!  The next week I rode with one of my friends and Mister was upset and just bounced me around a bunch since he just wanted to hang out and didn’t like that I made him work!  Usually when I ride with lots of people I let us just hang out and don’t push him.  It used to be because I was nervous of other riders, then it became me just wanting to visit and also because by the end of the week I am pretty tired so I don’t usually want to push myself.  But last week I was a bit frazzled so riding with people put me back to being nervous of riding with other people.  I need to trust myself and my horse and not worry about the level of riding other people have.  I know Mister and I can handle whatever comes our way but sometimes I forget and get stuck on the other horses and riders in the arena.  It was a good reminder that I need to focus on myself and my horse-of course you have to pay attention but not in the all encompassing way-just in the way that keeps you out of trouble!   In the showring I can’t be worried about all the other horses and riders, I need to pay attention to us and give us the best possible chance for the best possible ride!

This past week was a good week, though only 2 rides since it got cold again, also because sometimes when you have a really good ride you just want to savour it a bit more-however then it got cold so when I wanted to get that feeling again it was too cold!  My last ride was beautiful!  A floaty, beautiful trot and canter!!  The canter was amazing!  Not only was the canter so nice, his attitude was super lovey-I just wanted to hang out with him all day even though it was chilly and I had to go to work!  We haven’t had that canter in a while so it was just so nice to feel it again!  Hopefully the weather will get warmer again so we can work on that canter and trot again!  It was beautiful!  It’s all such a dance! And I love to dance!