Sunday, September 21, 2008

Great lesson today

Peter came with us to Jennifer’s house and brought his camera. He took over 400 photos and ended up with 50 he liked really well. Here is the link:

Unfortunately, when I see photos of myself riding all I think is “oh, gosh, I didn’t feel fat till I saw the pictures” So, I have to take a deep breath and remind myself that we just have more work to do and then not beat myself up.

Today Maggie spent time playing with one of Jennifer’s horses while Jennifer worked with Dixie on the ground. Dixie proved to be really good at tuning Jennifer (and Maggie) out and Jennifer spent a lot of time smacking her with the carrot stick and rope. Jennifer hates smacking horses, but she had to get her attention and keep it! For now we have decided to take more lessons and spend less time competing…For Maggie that translates to no time competing. No fall NATRC rides for her or me. We want to wait till Maggie is really good and can be competitive and can have nice comments written on her card. Her next attempt will be the trail challenge at Teresa’s the end of November.

My lesson was another passenger lesson. IT started out by Jennifer showing me some tips for teaching Liberty not to crowd the next horse only it morphed into something completely different. She discovered his draw was broken. HE has never been “drawable” in the round pen and always does outside turns. He never just comes in. So, I rode and she directed. I rode with no bridle at all and when things got fast I was instructed to sit deep and tight in the saddle. It was pretty exciting at times and I felt like I was being whipped right and left, but I stayed on and we had so much fun. She showed me how to actually move him sideways on the ground, which is something that so many people say (teach the sidepass on the ground first) but no one has ever actually shown me how to do that before today. I have pretty light hands (according to past dressage instructors) but every time I go without a bridle, I see how much I’m really pulling. I started teaching him how to backup without reins today and I learned a lot about how to steer him without a bridle too…he wasn’t very good at some of it, and it made me aware again how much I resort to using my bit and reins. I think if I’m practicing this alone, I will have to have a bridle on him because I need the ability to steer if he doesn’t do as I ask but I now have a ton of things to practice.

The practice comes at a good time. Next weekend is the Parelli Tour so I won’t be trailering anywhere, but just riding at home for the next week. The following week is the Benefit ride, but it looks like I won’t be going to that either…I don’t think. I’m torn about taking myself to it and competing, but I know that Maggie would be sad if I went without her.

I don’t think we’ll stay off Dixie altoegher, but I think that we’ll spend more time on the ground trying to get her softer and lighter.

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