Monday, November 20, 2017

1.01 miles YTD 35.52 miles

Brief Blog Hop pause while I enter in my mileage for the Distance Derby, which is still going, despite some hiccups this year.

After hearing that the weather was supposed to be lows in the 40s (after highs in the 40s...) but clear and just super windy, I was determined to ride. I had all the stuff from my lesson two weeks ago just rumbling around in my brain and while I did work on the stuff on the ground, I wanted to know that I could replicate the feeling of Gwyn moving so well without having a voice talking at me and giving me instructions.


I swear I just got done writing that post about how it all just blends in and then the mare comes over looking muddy as all get out. So we had a LONG grooming session and made sure all the mud crusties were gone. In excellent news, the mud knot is still secure and her tail is mud free!

Not happy about suddenly not having her hay. Also, she was holding her breath and made me think I had to get a new girth. I let her fuss a bit, tightened and went up two holes immediately.

When you work full time (or close enough) and have kids, this is winter riding.

The lights do a good job though! It's hard to tell because phone pictures (duh) but the arena was decently lit. 

"Mom, dis light is bright"
I was toasty warm. I had a wool undershirt, fleece riding pants, my winter muck boots, fleece vest, then sweatshirt, gloves and a balaclava (that fits under my helmet! joyous day!)  

I was slightly disappointed it wasn't colder so I could try out my DIY quarter sheet.

The ride was GREAT.  I started in hand and we practiced disengaging the hindquarters ( I figured out that's what she was teaching me to do!) on the ground. Then I hopped on and we did some more practice disengaging the hindquarters and moving her feet when she tried to say that all the gusty wind was a reason to not stand still while I mounted. Oh no, mare. Not a good reason. 

I hopped on a polite mare, finally and we started off walking and warming up. I practiced holding my hands out and doing the 90 degree turns to get her to start stepping under herself. And we did lots of walk halt reverse transitions, focusing on straightness in the reverse and adjusting the hind if she got wobbly. I tried to mix it up and make random patterns in the arena.  If Gwyn started to get squirrelly because of the wind or she thought the deer were horse eating deer, I immediately got her feet moving more complicated.

That being said, for it being a VERY windy night, with strange shadows cast everywhere, I had a very focused horse underneath me. It was LOVELY.

I'm going to close my eyes because bright light.
I tried a bit of trot too, to see if the techniques would carry over and discovered the most amazing trot. It was impulsive but not rushing and she was SO balanced. We did some big sweeping circles and some tighter circles, all at the sitting trot and I felt like I was riding a dressage horse. I swear. She didn't giraffe at all, and I focused on keeping my hands higher than I want, which probably ends up not being that high and when we would turn, I'd look and move both hands in the direction I wanted to go (same idea as at the walk)  

Oh my gosh it was lovely. 

I got bolder and loosened my reins and Gwyn dropped her head further but still with that self carriage. We practiced more hindquarter disengaging, pretty much anything to keep our minds busy. I did hop off at one point and set up some trot poles to go over. She was pretty good, but Saffron kept getting in the way.

We did some more random stuff before I called it a night. I'm so excited. I can't wait to do more!

This is my new happy mouth and there are already chunks missing. Is this normal? What's going on?