Tuesday, August 31, 2010

In The Light...

It took a lot for me to finally decide on a show name for Chester. My original list included: "Embarcadero" (hence the name of my blog), 'In The Light' (one of my favourite Led Zeppelin songs) and "Let It Rock...how I ended up with Sppin' On Sunshine was a result of a song I heard in which I instantly fell in love with the first time I heard it.
From the beginning, In The Light - was a close close close runner up. Why? Simply because EVERY TIME I ride, Chester has a light bulb moment and I can almost hear (and definitely FEEL) him go "Oh, I GET it now!!". Last night, was no exception.
Keeping in mind that we are working on Chester's front end, we are going to be doing a lot of gymnastics, a lot of trot poles to a canter pole to a single fence/oxer...that is what I was working on last night. Me - getting the timing of my aids to help him get his front end in gear and him - getting his front end in gear. We (well, I) set up 2 trot poles to a canter pole to an 'X', Chester watched. Our warm up was great (speaking of which I have also changed around a little bit...anyway, more on that later) and about 20 minutes in, I pointed him in the direction of our line. He came at it, went uh what? and sort of deer hopped over it...ugh...try again...by the third time over, he was going like a champ, getting his lead and snorting happily to himself upon landing. AWESOME. I can literally FEEL him get it and become more comfortable. By the end of the session, we were cantering into a pretty significant sized oxer, which he didn't touch...once. He was oozing confidence and was pretty pleased with himself.
I love it when he is like that.
Off property xc schooling tomorrow morning. Ditches, banks, drops, water, scary fences...bring it on. I. Can. Not. Wait!!
Chester had better get over this water phobia he has or his career as an event horse will be short lived!! I'm hoping he is In The Light tomorrow...that's fore sure.
More soon.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Whoopsie - it's been a while since I posted anything. Let's hope I can remember what I did over the past week. And - I am finding that as I get older, it is taking me longer to recover from my weekend. It was my best friend's jack and jill on Saturday night, and now that is it almost 3:00 p.m. on Monday, I can say that I am STILL tired and have spent the day in bed.
We did end up having a lesson last Wednesday. The focus over the fall and winter will be getting the Pickle to make better use of his front end and stop 'hanging' his legs over fences...which will lead to a mountain of problems on xc when we start to hit the higher levels. The last thing I want is for him to catch one of his legs going over a jump that doesn't fall down. That is a recipe for disaster. So, that means we will be doing a LOT of gymnastics and single fence oxers so that he learns to stretch a little more. You can see from some of the pictures that he has great knees and doesn't WANT to touch anything, he just has to learn to be a little more resourceful on HOW he uses himself. We'll work on it. We worked on me also...my position, my aids before, over and after the fence, my release...holy - just when you think you are making headway, you have 4 more things to try and sort out. Joyce says I am too hard on myself and last week's lesson was no exception. I didn't think I was riding very well, she said there was monumental improvement from the start of the lesson to the end...so that is what I am going to go on.
Thursday - we did a little conditioning...which I always enjoy. Chester seems to like it too...this time of year is fantastic for evening riding (although right now it is 42 degrees out with the humidity) and Chester loves being out in that field. I popped him over a couple of the smaller xc jumps just for fun and then we walked for a good 40 minutes. Like people, horses benefit so much from long slow work. It was nice to have him snorting away to himself as we were walking around.
Sunday - I lunged for about 35 minutes. With his bridle and side reins on....I need to start doing this at LEAST once a week...I should be doing it more often then I am right now though, that is for sure. It gives Pickle the chance to use himself properly, engage his hind end, without him having to worry about carrying my ass around and screwing around with his face. It also basically proves it to me that as long as I keep him moving forward into a steady contact i.e - NOT MOVING MY HANDS SO MUCH, he is happy and will pretty much put himself into a frame. His mouth was frothy, he was relaxed and happy...it was nice.
I have started to turn him out into the arena after our rides so that he can have a roll...which he ALWAYS does and which I know he appreciates.
OH!!! Here is the exciting news of the day....we are going xc schooling off property on Wednesday morning!!! :-) I can't WAIT. We are literally going to get his feet wet, get him into and out of the water, banks, etc. All the scary stuff that he will start to see on course once we move up...which we will hopefully do for our last event in October...all depends on how his confidence is at Equus 3D on September 12. That will be the determining factor!
That's it for now...
More soon.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Words of Wisdom...

In following with the Statement: "The First basic prerequisite of becoming a good rider is to develop an independent seat. An Independent Seat is achieved by a lot of sitting trot with no stirrups."
That is what I worked on last night and I can hardly walk today.
Boss comes tonight...I might *actually* be able to have a lesson...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


One of the best things about horses, is that they give so much joy and happiness to the people who love them....not to mention they can also instantly break our hearts and have you crying your eyes out...day in and day out, our horses drive us crazy, and that is why we love them. In the 2 hours I normally spend at the barn each time I am there, I run through all the following emotions, not in any given order: love, happiness, proud, pissed, bonkers, frustrated, ecstatic, determined, angry....etc. And yes, I do get frustrated with Chester and yes I do get angry with him, but more often then not the cause of those negative emotions is because I did something wrong which made him behave wrong.
Jen B. (barn owner) experienced herself last night a very similar range of emotions...mostly happiness and joy because: She is the proud new owner of one of the BIGGEST (seriously, he is 17.2 hh) most BEAUTIFUL black 3/4 tb-1/4 perch geldings I have ever seen. I will try to remember to take a picture tonight so I can show you just how beautiful he really is and I am not making it up....He is an absolute doll. In the first 10 minutes he was there he managed to have everyone gawking at just how gorgeous he was, freak out getting off the trailer, freak out at the goat, step on Jen's foot, break her big toe, cause her to hit the ground hard and consequentially, bruise her knee. And his name, is Moseby (or Moe, or I might just call him Moose). Imagine the range of emotions going through her head all within those first 10 minutes....however, I am sure her emotional range also included PAIN...her toe is now the same colour as her horse.
When I first got there, I went out to get Chester and then over to the field where 'Moe' is being housed...I looked at Chester, looked at Moe and went "OMG, he makes Chester look like a midget!!" Jen's response to that was: HE makes him look like a thoroughbred. Ha. I stood there looking at Moe - who is just unbelievably HUGE (but, not drafty at all, he is simply perfect) and then over at Chester and I couldn't believe the difference...Chester looked like fine china compared to this beast that was in the field...as a reference, I would need to be a solid 2 inches TALLER to see over his ass...
Then we got into this big debate about how big Chester is. They had just sticked Moe, who is seriously 17.2hh and I went, Oh, Chester is probably like 16.1 or mayyybe 16.2....and they all said I was completely insane for thinking that....so, we sticked him too...and he is (KEEPING IN MIND HE IS A VERY UPHILL TB WITH A HIGH WITHER) 17.1/2hh...I basically freaked out...lol Let me tell you, I am not used to looking UP at another rider, and I am going to be looking UP at this beast for sure. So, after I was finished riding (he was great...but we are talking about emotions here), Chester was eating his dinner and I went out to the paddock again where Jen, her brother and Moe were hanging out. We were all talking about him (he was calmly eating hay and could have cared less about anything that was going on) and I said to Jen - he really is beautiful -I cant wait until he starts to get more muscle... And she said one of the best things I think I have ever heard someone say about their horse; "I had this picture of him in my head and every time I see him again in person, he is just more beautiful then I remember"...
If that isn't Unconditional Love, I don't know what is.
Go Love your horse.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Friday & Saturday Rides...

Chester continues to amaze me.
He is one of the smartest horses I have ever met. When he is good, he is VERY good and when he isn't VERY good, it is 99.99% my fault that he isn't. This horse, just gets it. When working on something (anything), even something very new, it takes him 3 or 4 times to 'get it' and then it is like a light bulb goes off in his head and he goes 'OH OH OH!!! I GET IT!!!' and then it is like he has been doing it his whole life.
On Friday, we were schooling out in the jumper ring and there was a lesson going on, with a couple of younger kids.,...so, kudos for me for keeping my eyes up and looking where I was going. Every time Jen (the instructor) would yell something out 'Eyes up!', 'Heels Down' etc I would catch myself making sure I was following her directions. At one point, I even said to her 'Geeze, I thought you have been yelling at me the entire time'...lol We have been working a lot on our transitions. Especially from trot-canter-trot and I think they have improved exponentially over the past couple of weeks. So, Friday, we continued with the transition work...and we started to make it a little harder: figure of eights, with a couple trot steps over 'X' pick up the new lead...and, it has been going VERY well. We have started to work on his flying changes...and he is like 85% there. It is sooo weird. He knows he is on the wrong lead, will come back to trot himself and switch it. Sometimes, I feel him switch in front, but not in back, so I ask him to come back, get it together and start over. It is much easier for him coming off the left and switching to the right then it is the other way around. In the lesson that was going on, Jen had some teeny xrails set up, and i popped him over them - letting him pick his pace and find his footing - I just sat there and let him sort it out and made the 'suggestion' as to which lead he should be on. He was a star. As we were coming across the diagonal, he swapped his lead....ON HIS OWN...with a perfect flying change, that Jen happened to see. She goes 'OMG, he just got it!!!'...and I called it at that. So proud.
On Saturday - I was there bright and early as we had a wedding to go too..Aaron was in the wedding party...anyways. I broke out the dressage saddle and my plan was to again work on transitions, responsiveness, and keeping him supple and happy...and yes, my downfall FORWARD and IN FRONT OF MY LEG WITH QUIET HANDS...sigh...I am getting better at riding him properly, I swear. Our next event is September 12 and I swear, if it is the last thing I do, we WILL get a low 50s in our test...anways...the weather was bonkers on Saturday - I started outside, and then moved inside after about 25 minutes, simply because it was blowing around like MAD and I thought a typhoon was about to reach us. It was weird, but it was almost as if he preferred to be inside himself....he felt much more light and responsive. We did some leg yielding, which was great, and then worked up to leg yielding from the 1/4 line to the track and immediately picking up canter...which helped me a lot with my aids and keeping him bent the right way. We also did a lot of rein changes and trot-canter-trot transitions in the arena...I worked on staying balanced with a long leg. I totally forgot to do no stirrup work...whoopsie. Needless to say, he was pretty pleased with himself and snorted along happily the entire time we were in the arena. We went on an awesome walk hack for about 40 minutes after our ride...which is good for his conditioning/endurance. This Thursday we will do some conditioning out in the big field.
Riding tonight - will jump a little bit, flat him tomorrow and the boss comes on Wednesday...so we can **HOPEFULLY** have a lesson...I'm keeping my fingers crossed for that considering the construction of the new barn/arena has caused us to temporarily LOOSE an arena...sigh...it will be well worth it in the end...which reminds me, I should take some pictures of the new arena so everyone can see how amazing it is going to be!
Here is my very handsome fiance (and I)...I Love him to pieces!! (Don't tell that to Chester though.)

Friday, August 20, 2010


Well...once again, I was subjected to NOT having a lesson last night....because I got over ruled when it came to the arena...it also didn't help that is was pissing down rain yesterday and the outdoor turned into bad footing.
See, there is something AMAZING going on right now at the barn...a new barn and indoor is going up, which will be for boarder ONLY...which will basically make my life a million times easier then it is right now. The construction the new barn is causing resulted int he loss of the small outdoor sand ring where the majority of the lessons have been taking place...so up until a month ago, lessons has never been a problem...for the past month, Joyce and I have tried everything, re-booked times, re-booked when/where we ride, all to no avail....sigh....the new barn will be done by October 1...so here's hoping.
We switched our lesson nights to Wednesday at 7ish....until the Winter anyways when we will have them on Saturday afternoon...which the boss (because she is the smartest person alive) said 'you'll appreciate because it wont be pitch black and freezing cold out'...well said Boss, well said.
So, I am out of the office shortly and might actually get to school my horse today.....Going to work on some flat and then jump a little bit tomorrow!
Tata for now!!

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Last night - was fun.
We did about 20 minutes of ring work, then went out into the field and trotted/cantered around for about 15 - 20 minutes...popped him over the little log and tires, just for fun and had a very low key, relaxing, stretch of a ride.
Whhhiiiichhhh I might be kicking myself for tonight because the boss comes...sigh...ah well....I don't regret it at all. I might in a couple hours though when our lesson starts...ha.
Here are a couple pictures from when my family was out on the weekend at Canterdown...I know I know I have promised to upload some videos, and I will get to that ASAP. Bigger, better update tomorrow after our lesson, promise!

< -- Ugh, need to work on my lower leg position I think so I don't look like THAT over fences.


Pickle basically trotting over the itty bitty jumps.

The Best Little Big Fan in the entire Universe:
Lovely Layla (My niece)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It's Not The Results That Matter...

I would wager it is pretty safe to say that it isn't the actual results of an event that matter most. What matters most is that you come away from it happy, with things to work on for the next one and you did better then the last time out. What matters more then that sometimes is that you continue to build upon your relationship with your horse and grow more comfortable with each other and build on that confidence in your partnership. What is even sometimes more important then that...is having the people who mean the most to you there to share in your experience...even if they don't have the slightest clue as to what is going on. That is what it was like for me on Sunday at Canterdown. It was Chester's 2nd ever event and I went into it looking to finish on our dressage score - simply because after our last experience at Lane's End, I KNEW he could do it. And, he did finish on his dressage score, but more about that later.
On Sunday - I had one of the best surprises I think I have ever had. Not only did my brother, sister in law and niece and nephew show up, but so did my Mom & Rick...which was a TOTAL SURPRISE for me. I remember warming up before xc and I happened to look towards where all the spectators were watching and I see Layla (my niece) pointing and waving in my direction...along side my mom and Rick and brother and sister in law...what an AMAZING surprise!!! It was great!!! It really means a lot to me that they were there...to watch me do what I love and to see how much enjoyment I get out of it. Although Layla was a little scared of Big Bad Chester, she did say that he was very pretty. I also told her that they both had the same hair colour and her eyes just about popped out of her head. After xc, she sported my number and gave a big 'thumbs up'. That is her and my mom after our xc ride!
Me, Lovely Layla & Mom

My mother's photography skills can best be summed up in her words "Fast Horse, slow camera", although she did manage to get a couple good pictures of us.

Here we are waiting in the start box for the start of xc. I think we were both pretty calm here. We were about 30 seconds out and I remember taking a deep breath and going to myself - we WILL go clear and we WILL make the time...and we did. It took me about 3 jumps to really get him moving forward. (I will post a video later this evening so you can see the extra uhh - 'encouragement' that was needed over the first couple of fences. He is tiptoeing on the line of being super confident and until we can get him going forward out of the star box, we will stay at Entry - but I fully expect us to move up a level for October - but for sure next season. The last thing I want to do, is go out there if he is not 100% confident and move up a level. It will do nothing but set us back - so, we will go xc schooling a couple times, build his confidence (and MINE TOO!!) and see what happens over the next couple of weeks. Once I can get him confident in himself, he just LOVES it and eats up the course. He went around the course with his ears forward and alert the entire time. By the end of it, he was moving really well and just hit the last 4 or 5 jumps all in stride and took off for the next one. What a feeling....
His stadium was pretty good. A couple sticky jumps because he was looking at stuff he had no business looking at, but we were clear and it flowed. I was pretty happy about the round and again, I got a huge thumbs up from Layla - so, as long as she was happy, I couldn't care about anything else.
Dressage - I am somewhat annoyed with myself...because in typical fashion, I was a little tense going into the ring, he felt it and said 'AWESOME LET'S CANTER', when we had no business cantering. I also have to work on ME as a rider....that will get us better marks. I got mostly 6s and 7s, NO 5s!!! YAY ME. So now we work on getting MORE 7s and a couple 8s.
So, for his second event EVER, he finished on his dressage score of 57 to finish in 5th place out of about 14 horses. Amazing. We were 0.75 marks out of 4th place and I sort of kicked myself a little bit about that because I KNEW I lost us at least 3 marks in our test, but I can not be disappointed in our performance. At all. I still have a hard time believing that a month ago, this horse had never even evented before in his life. He was cool as a cucumber the entire time we were there and he actually helped to calm ME down. Last night, I went to visit him and he gave me this look as if to say 'see what we can do'...he is a very talented boy...and knows it. It was weird, but I think going through his injury and the past couple of events together has really brought us closer and more in tune with each other.
So now, we work on his confidence on xc, getting a better jump out of him (especially working on his front end) for stadium and becoming more forward and ahead of my leg (shocking!!) for our dressage. If I can make myself ride him better (and keep my nerves in check) then I know we can get a low 50s in our next dressage test....but that part is completely up to me...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Moving Upwards...

CHESTER finished on his dressage score yesterday to finish.......5th!!!!!! :-)
Update with detail and video later....

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What a Ride...!!!

Last night, was probably one of the best rides I have had on Chester...probably ever.
So, I show up again with the plan on doing some conditioning...because, you know, we have an event in 5 days...and of course, it is pouring down rain...sigh. No conditioning, again. And, we are stuck riding in the arena, again. On goes the dressage saddle....which was the smartest decision I have made in a long time. We proceeded to have a wonderful warm-up: the Pickle was being attentive, responsive, we were in balance everything was great. We start doing the movements to the dressage test, using having to ride in the arena to our advantage, I really worked hard on accuracy and obedience. If I wasn't happy with something, then we would repeat the movement again immediately prior to moving on. It was going well. We did some leg yielding at walk and trot and he is much better to the left then right (expected) but he got it pretty fluidly (is that a word) in both directions by the time we were done. It was lovely. So - no stirrup work - sigh - I know I need to do this more often (like at least 10 minutes every time I ride) but I don't. Annnd today, I know why - because it friggin makes me sore. Anyways....
I work on my balance, staying as light as possible, with as long a leg as possible...and once I got him moving forward enough - if I do say so myself - it was pretty good. So good, that I rode the entire dressage test we are going to be riding on Sunday....and it was great. I am finding out, less is more with Chester (YES I KNOW THE BOSS HAS BEEN TELLING ME THAT FOR MONTHS) and it just really seemed to click in my head recently...for whatever reason.
Tonight - he has the day off. Aaron and i are going to pick up that lumber for the xc jumps we are going to be building on Thursday...which is when we have our next lesson...in which I have been informed we are going to be doing grid work...awesome <-- sarcastic....no really, I KNOW we need to work on it, and it will help make Chester a better jumper. He likes to hang his legs a little bit. Joyce says I don't give him enough credit - lol SHE should try jumping the spook-a-holic - and I need to release him more so he can get his front end up and out of the way...basically, the grid work will be as much for ME as it will be for HIM....sigh - I will get there....eventually.
More soon.
4 more rides to go...

Monday, August 9, 2010


What happens when you're just about to start your trot work in the ring after a great warm up and you really have a feeling it is going to go well...? You get swarmed by 1,000's of bees. That is the logical answer no? Well, that is exactly what happened to The Pickle and I on Friday afternoon. August, is a relatively slow month in the office and I take advantage of that by taking Fridays off....let me back up to Thursday's lesson...
Backing up to taking advantage of August - I was able to book my lesson with the Boss for 6:00 p.m.! Amazing, isn't it?! So, I show up around 5 or so ...was going to give the Pickle a good grooming and get all ready to go...so, the Boss shows up around 5:30 and we're chatting, getting ready to go and one of the mother's says to me 'Do you have a lesson at 6? Because that's when we have our lesson'...now - please keep in mind the following, the outdoor is a MASSIVE 100 x 200 structure...the other coach in question had no problems with me riding in there with the 'daughter' ..however, that didn't suit the mother's needs. So, after much discussion, The Boss goes 'It's fine, we'll ride out in the field'...in which we proceeded to work on my xc position and Chester's gallop...yes, you can actually work on galloping. With him right now - we are working on making his stride BIGGER, not necessarily faster..there is a difference. And how do I do this? I do this by keeping my leg ON and lifting my chest up to almost vertical..sort of the same as when you ask for lengthening trot...we totally changed my position, shortened my reins and worked on opening the Pickle up...it worked, and he loved it. Joyce is somewhat concerned about Chester's head coming up too much, bu I told her I think I am okay with it for now because he 'comes back' really well. I don't want to START to put a whole bunch of unnecessary equipment on him (ie running martingale) if I don't have too. Then, we worked over some of the xc jumps...really focusing on rhythm and striding...annnnd my release - I need to work on that - The Boss said that when I don't release enough, I am blocking him from using his front end and he'll end up hanging a leg if I'm not careful - well, that is all the 'advice' I needed to hear. The last couple of jumps we did were FANTASTIC and I am feeling really good about taking him xc on Sunday at Canterdown!
Friday - the Bees - OH. MY. EFFING. GODDDDDDD!!!!! We were literally swarmed by thousands and thousands of bees!!! They were hitting my face, my whole body and poor Chester was getting attacked. Needless to say, I hightailed it out of there as fast as I could. Amazingly, I managed NOT to get stung (I have no idea how that happened) but poor Chester got a couple stingers in him which resulted in some lumps ....but, he's okay.
Saturday - was SUPER FUN...because Shannon and Lindsay came out to watch me ride - we jumped a little bit for them and then the best part was his 'cool out' When Shannon and Lindsay were his cool out riders!!! :) We went back to the apple orchard and back and they each took a turn on him. So cute. It was so amazing to see how happy they were to get to ride him! I am glad they got to experience the joy I get from doing it....
Sunday - The plan was to do some conditioning...work on his gallop and on my position. So - I show up early afternoon and the sky is grey. No big deal. As we are setting on our way, it starts to mist/drizzle a little bit. No big deal, we are at one point going to have to show in the rain, so we can practice in the rain too. Well - that idea was about 20 minutes lived. We were wayyy in the far back corner of the field (pretty much as far away from the barn as you can get) and the sky just friggin opened up and poured. We got SOAKED. Ugh. So, we book it back to the barn. We'd only been out there for about 20 minutes so I decided to do some ring work...okay - trying to get a very FIT event horse to come back into the 'ring work' mind set after galloping....is somewhat challenging....we argued about it a little bit, but then we agreed and we worked well for about 20 minutes...let me tell you - we've been working HARD on our transitions...and we are going to NAIL them on Sunday... :-)
Oh - he has an effing cut on his front left heel - I THINK from when he freaked out from the bee attack - which is causing em a little bit of concern. It is just in a bad spot that is impossible to keep dirt and shit out of...ugh - so I put bell boots on him for turn out (which I probably should have done a long time ago) and am hoping that will help.
So - tonight, we try again for our conditioning and he has tomorrow off.
Canterdown is in 5 more rides. Bring It.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dripping Frigging Soaking Wet...

So - what happens when you get to the barn, it is the middle of a typhoon and you get absolutely frigging soaked to the bone when you go to collect your horse from the field...?
You lose all desire and motivation to ride. Period.
That is what happened to me last night.
As I stood literally dripping from the end of my nose, I looked at The Pickle in his stall as he stood dripping water from the end of his nose with a look to me that said 'You have to be out of your friggin mind', and I said 'For once, I actually agree with you'.
The poor dude was soaked through, had water dripping off his belly and looked literally like a drowned rat. I wish I had my camera...ha.
Not to mention 10 minutes AFTER I brought him in, it stopped raining and then got disgustingly humid.
He's been working pretty hard the past couple of days, so I figured the dude could use the day off. There is nothing worse then riding when you are soaking wet.
Hummm - except for the fact that we have a lesson tonight with The Boss and it might have been in my best interest to dig deep and persevere last night. I guess we will see what happens tonight.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Forward, Forward Forward...

The more I think about it - the more it makes sense.
I have thought a LOT about what Nancy Tapley (the wonderful dressage judge who took the time to me with me after Lane's End) told me over the past several days and really have been trying to put it into practice. The more Chester is in front of my leg, the less I have to do as a rider which means my hands will be more steady which means I won't be messing with his face as much which means he will be much more happy and willing. Not that he isn't happy & willing now, but you get the point.
And - it goes back to what the Boss has been telling me for the past 6 weeks "You need MORE from him. When you think it is enough - ask for a little more and then you will have it". Things that I have been working on.
1 - understanding the difference between a true contact and a fake contact. ie - riding properly from back to front (in front of your leg) and not from front to back (hanging on your hand). I still don't fully understand how to connect everything but, I am getting better.
2 - I am getting better because I am really starting to feel the difference when Chester is properly using himself vs not. There are these moments of greatness where for 10 or 15 steps it feels like I am sitting on a hot air balloon and everything just WORKS.
3 - My hand position - I constantly tell myself to hold my hands up and out - away from my body and to keep the straight line from bit t- hand to elbow - sounds basic huh? Well - it was the biggest thing I got dinged on after Chester's tantrum at Lane's End and is the reason our scores were all over the place. You can bet your ass that will never happen to me again.
4 - Asking & Giving...ugh - this is what I am having the most trouble with at the moment. I either a:forget to give once I have asked and he answered b: give WAY too much and I lose the feel in the corner of his mouth or c: don't have him moving forward enough when I ask for something at which point he says 'up yours'...but, I will get it.
5 - Opening up my knee and not having a death grip. The more I stay off his back - the easier it will be for me to get him moving forward openly and freely through his shoulder. I have started doing about 10 minutes of no stirrup work per ride and that is helping me a TON with my balance and position.
I am just working on riding him BETTER and with more confidence. We tried to do a little gallop last night (in my head thinking we have to go faster) but the ground is sooooo harrddddd right now that he was making that hollow sound when we were galloping so I said forget it. It hasn't rained in a couple weeks and you can really tell. It's not worth it for me to push it on hard ground when he is still recuperating.
Tonight - we work on the dressage movements for our test for Canterdown (on August 15) and then I'll ride it in the arena to get the accuracy down.
Tomorrow - LESSON WITH THE BOSS!!! and then there is a BIG Pig Roast/BBQ/BAND/PARTY at the barn. Should be a lot of FUN! Boss and Kelly are going to come (hopefully Papa Cracker too) and Aaron....looking forward to that.
More tomorrow.