I am just now getting around to blogging about my ride Tuesday night, because it has been a fairly crazy week...as usual! I am thrilled to report that my lesson from the weekend really stuck. I rode April the other night, and applied a massive amount of focus to the position tips we had worked on. We had an AMAZINGLY improved ride! I hadn't realized how much the area I was riding in was affecting my position. Because the property has been so wet and soggy, we have been riding in our little borrowed field right outside the farm. It drains beautifully...because the entire thing is on a fairly dramatic incline. So it has been great, in the aspect that we can ride there almost immediately after a decent downpour, but it stinks, because it has caused me to get really sloppy about my position.
We had pieced together the vicious circle of what was happening with April. She is so forward naturally, that if she scoots out from under me the slightest bit, I fall back onto my butt, she interprets it as a driving seat, and continues to run out from under me, and then it just spins into an unending cycle. Then she gets frustrated because half of my body is telling her one thing, whereas the other half is communicating something different. So even though I had the hill to work on Tuesday night, I focused on really controlling my body. It worked, to say the least. We spent a lot of time working on the walk, until we produced a pretty darn correct result. Then we went to the trot, which was challenging downhill. She has the natural tendency to run onto the forehand going downhill, so I had to really fight to keep my seat correct while holding her from speeding out from under me. It took a few tries, but by the end of our little workout, we did four huge circles including uphill and downhill slopes, connected, balanced, soft, and relaxed. VICTORY!!!!
I was ecstatic, and decided to end it as a light workout since it was a huge step in the right direction. Then I mustered my motivation and tacked up Samson for a conditioning ride. I was feeling a little restless, so we went for a little moonlit adventure. He is such a saint. He barely flinched at the car headlights passing us by. We worked a lot at the trot, to condition him, and to get me in shape, since I was riding at the two-point. At one point, he got a little cranked up and buried his head, snatched the bridle, and took off at a gallop....oh dear. Not ideal, in the dark, down the side of a country road. Thankfully, he is completely unfit, and two minutes later we were back to a walk while he huffed and puffed from his exertions. God I love my boy!!!!
I have a few barn tours set up for this weekend, an appointment to look at a trailer, and pony pedicure day (a.k.a. the farrier!) on Saturday. I am really excited about the people coming to meet Samson. I have concluded I need a little extra help keeping him worked, especially throughout the winter, so I am going to work out some half-lease situations. We are three and a half months into running our own barn, and we are full, content, and really blossoming.
In addition, I am completely excited about next weekend. I have an opportunity to go spend an entire weekend immersed in training rides and lessons, in hopes that we can possibly pull off going to the Pipe Opener at Carolina Horse Park in January. I can't believe I am actually getting close to going to a show. I have been hoping, dreaming, and breathing the thought of showing for what seems like forever, and now it seems as if it is finally in reach. It may seem silly to be so excited over something so small, but when you spend years being the girl on the sidelines, it is all you can think of. So here's to continuing to blossom, and hopefully continued tastes of success!