Tuesday, October 24, 2017

1.5 Miles at home!

A coworker pointed out today that my truck's tabs were out of date... uh... oops?  I didn't have much to do at work, and I could renew online since it was past the expiration date (my birthday...) so I skipped the last couple hours of work and headed to the secretary of state. That didn't take long to do as there was barely a line and I was on my way home. It was blustery and occasionally raining but I found myself longing to be in the saddle and not minding the weather.

As I talked with Eric I mentioned how I could totally get in a quick ride if I didn't have to pick the girls up from daycare and he asked if I could be done by six... It was 4:50 pm and I was 5 minutes from home. I totally could do it.

Anyway, I got to ride :D

Rain Clouds on the Way
I ran inside as soon as I got home and peed, grabbed riding pants and headed downstairs to get my boots and two new bits I ordered. I wanted to use one of them today to see how Gwyn like them. She honestly doesn't appear to have a super big preference for what's in her mouth, at least not so far as I can tell, and I want something to remind her that she is supposed to turn when I ask her.

For now I tried the happy mouth french link three ring elevator. I've been using a french link baucher and she's been good in that. I've also got a mullen happy mouth 4 ring elevator. I was worried they'd be too small, but it seems that 5 3/4 fits her. So yay!

Anyway, I groomed quickly, tacked up and then took a very reactive horse outside to mount. I had to grab my step stool from the trailer but she was good and stood still, even if she was quivering from the wind and Saffron being upset about us being outside the pasture.

With a very forward walk we went out to the front pasture and did a circuit around. I could FEEL her wanting to spook, and I hadn't gotten any wiggles out with lunging (no time) so rather than stay by the road with all the cars and trucks driving home, I took her up the driveway to see if we could access the farm fields behind the neighbor.

Unfortunately, the brush has grown up a bit too much for our usual crossover spot, but the soybeans are all harvested so getting back out there will be possible, I just need to clear a spot. I tried a few other areas and walked into a trail cam spot. Oops? At least I was wearing my safety orange. I think I'm going to prioritize my safety orange rump rug creation.

I love this view.
Once the field turned out to be a bust I walked Gwyn back down to our property and decided to work on some road desensitization. I eventually want to be able to cross the road and ride on the high school property perimeter. Rush hour, even in Dryden, is still too much for Gwyn though. As I was coming back down I saw that Eric had arrived with the girls. I walked out to the road on the neighbors driveway and then to ours on the grass strip we have between pasture and road. Gwyn was okay, but very jumpy and much more spooky. She had been nearly relaxed after the trip up to the field and back. We stopped to say hi to the kids and again, Gwyn relaxed. Hazel wanted to follow us but Eric herded them inside the house. It wasn't pleasant weather really to stay outside with the kids.

Gwyn and I went back down the driveway to stand by the road a little bit while cars passed. Then I decided we'd work in the front pasture instead of having to get off, go in the pasture and get on again for the arena.

I focused on sitting up for myself, but also kept the thought of impulsion from behind driving Gwyn forward into my hands. I wanted bend and steady contact. We were infrequently achieving that when I was lessoning with Jim. I didn't have any steering issues in the pasture, which is good and Gwyn was stretching down a lot starting to seek contact out.

Time to be done!
I also worked on posting evenly and slowly and rating her back with my seat during the trot rather than hanging on her mouth. After a nice trot circle I had her hop over my cavaletti and she was lovely!  We did lots of serpentines and changes of direction. Then I went back to the walk and tried to get a good working walk, again with that impulsion from behind and bend through her body.

I thought it was a good ride, but having eyes on the ground will be more helpful. I've finally contacted a trainer and have a lesson scheduled for the beginning of November. She'll come to me for the first one at least. I hope it's a good fit. She's not specifically a dressage or eventing trainer, but at this point we need more of an all around person (or dressage) to help us out before getting into specifics.

My cavaletti. I have supplies to make one more, which I should probably do at some point.

So there's that! We walked back and I untacked. The horses were upset I left without giving them dinner, but they're nothing compared to what Hazel would say if I fed the horses without her... And I was back in the house at six pm on the dot! As agreed.

It was a good way to end the day :D

No comments:

Post a Comment