Tuesday, December 6, 2011

We're Alive!

...I've completely ignored my computer for a couple of weeks now.

But I have had some really good rides with Ambermare.

I had one really gross ride where I was way too rough, let myself get too frustrated, and I ended up in tears because I realized I was riding poorly and blaming Amber for my shortcomings.

And then we had some rides that were super awesome. Her head is really starting to come down and she's really stretching down in typical hunter fashion after she warms up. She's starting to do it earlier and earlier in the ride, and I haven't really noticed her trying to "hang" on me either - she's just stretching down into the bit. Her walk-canter transitions are a bit poor at the moment. It's frustrating her and yesterday we had one decent transition, though not great, to the right, and she was a little rushy but eventually slowed her gait. The left was crap. She just kept trotting faster, and that's a pet peeve of mine. I eventually got it and she blasted around the arena, ignoring my seat, so I tried to halt halt and she just ducks behind the bit, or threw her head up like a giraffe. Really? So I kept the motion of my seat slow and kept doing gentle but firm half halts. It took us a few tries. Then she wanted to trot like a pacer. It took all I could muster to keep her from speeding away.

And of course when I tried to get her to walk, she just jigged and tried to trot away. This is all just her being confused and frustrated. If she doesn't understand what I'm asking, or if I ask for something too abruptly, she gets out of sorts. Her response when she gets out of sorts/confused is to just run around.

So yeah. Her trot work is gorgeous though. I just think I'll do back to trot-canter transitions for a while. She's just not ready, in my opinion. And her dislike of the left lead, her previously good side, is baffling. She's not hard to correct, but it's like she's trying to find tricks to be on the wrong lead more and more. I have never seen her throw her shoulder out as bad as she did yesterday!

So my plan is to work her more in that direction on canter and see if that helps.

We did have one particular ride where she was really really awesome at the canter though.

That's just bothering me though, because I worry something is wrong to make her suddenly start having trouble with leads. Although Victoria made a suggestion that makes sense - it may just be her changing with fitness and training.

On another note, she is going to be coming off the back pasture soon. Not sure if I'm going to do stall board. I spoke to Casey and another option is putting her in the covered arena overnight to get her off the grass. I'm putting her on a joint supplement, and she's going to get a small amount of grain with that to hopefully balance out her diet perfectly.

I'll just have to think about it. Either way, she's got to get off the grass somehow! It's just too much.

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