Custom blog header by Bre!

In Loving Memory...
~ Gogo Fatale ~

6/2/01 - 10/11/11
~ Forever the Marest of Them All ~

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Disco? With myself? Outrageous!

Okay that title had absolutely nothing to do with my post XD

Today was a great, great day. Everything at work flowed smoothly, we got everything finished in record time just like clockwork, my mother flew in to visit me (which I was surprisingly excited about), and oh yeah, my horse was freaking AWESOME today. This was the first lesson with Vicki that I really felt like we accomplished something, we really DID something productive... all it takes is patience and a little time, I guess. We started out today in the same way as yesterday, with a stretchy walk where I gradually picked up the contact instead of trotting around on a totally loose rein for awhile and then attempting to pick her up (which, understandably, always led to some resistance). When I picked her up at the walk, right off the bat I felt her being more even in both reins, and because she was softer today, I could be straighter in my body... or maybe it was the other way around ;) Either way, we walked for a good long while and worked on telescoping her neck out while doing figures such as serpentines, leg yields, a bit of shoulder-in, and changing the length of her frame. I felt her stretching forward and down out to my hands, and we both became increasingly loose in our movements. Up into trot after a good long while of this, and she was immediately at her *almost there* point. All it took was a few more minutes of walk-trot transitions and I had her right there in my hands. She reached out for my contact, and was right there with me. If there is any better feeling in the dressage-y world, you just let me know, because I haven't experienced anything so magical yet at when a horse is really searching for you, and finds you, and the contact is elastic and alive with energy. We didn't do too much in the way of complicated things - we did some absolutely fabulous leg yields and a couple of walk-canters that were just gorgeous - and actually, instead of progressing on to work on some counter-canter I just decided to call it a day, because she was just so perfect. Another thing we've been doing that I NEVER could have done before is actually taking walk breaks on a longer rein. Usually, our big problem is that after our free walks, our tests more or less loss all their fluidity and rhythm, and our scores went from pre-freewalk 7'd and 8's to post-freewalk steady 6's. Today especially, I felt like I could take a real break, let her stretch down for a few minutes, find my contact and stay elastic with it, and then be brought back up smoothly and easily - something we NEVER used to be able to do. We finished with a very, very lovely stretchy trot, which felt great and even in both hands. I will have to remember to school this mid-ride and bring her back up though.... Training level eventing tests have this movement mid-test and I certainly don't want her to associate it with being totally done!

Wow, though. She was just amazing, fluid, light, and working with me the entire ride, instead of just struggling to get it for awhile and then finally achieving it after a long 45-minute battle. Things to remember: start with walk work, it limbers her up very well. Give her stretchy walk breaks and time to readjust her frame and relax the muscles she's working hard. Let her seek my contact, instead of trying to manipulate her too much with my body and hands (my very bad habit). When she comes through, riding her is amazingly easy. It's like all I have to do is sit there and think about it, and she does it.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh yeah.

And then, of course, she went and rolled in the mud and got completely encrusted in it. Back to the washrack for leg washing and to the grooming stall for a good vacuuming... and here's my invention for keeping that gorgeous, luxurious tail out of harm's (and mud's) way (up and under the long tail flap of her blanket too, an added bonus!)

Now that's sexy! It's a really complicated and made up knot with some baling twine tied around it (not on her tailbone, of course!) to keep the whole thing from falling out. Works like a charm! :D And our twine out here is light blue, so she's totally matching, of course!

Today was sunny, warm and beautiful. Hard to believe that an enormous storm system complete with gale force winds and 12" of snow is barreling out way as we speak. We're bracing for one hell of a winter blast tomorrow....

1 comment:

jacksonsgrrl said...

Ahhh. That magic moment when barriers fall and the partnership comes full circle.....Good for you!