Lesson 8.3 and the Big Decision

Bolstered by new antibiotics and a free sample of nasal spray, I headed off to the barn.  I probably should have stayed home and rested, but the weather was actually pleasant, and the lesson was only a half hour, so off I went.  

At the barn, M said that we have to come up with a plan for the academy show.  It's the championship show, and I have to make a decision.  Do I want to ride Harley and try to win, or do I want to ride Blondie, and just shoot for a good ride?  Erg, that's a tough one!  Does it really matter if I place well at an academy show?  For my long term goals, riding Blondie would probably be the better choice.  I have until April 11 to figure it out.

I rode Blondie today.  It's the first time she's been ridden in a week as  D has been jogging her in the cart the last few days.  He turned her out in the arena earlier, so she could burn off some energy and be easier to handle when I rode her. In addition to running around like a maniac, she managed to pull of both of her front shoes.  Good thing there's a farrier in the house!

This is the best I've ever ridden her.  I sat back in the saddle, and she actually walked for me.  No cha-cha-cha, just a nice flat walk.   M told me not to worry about her head set, just concentrate on making her do what I asked.  She was being a little lazy, which was all right with me because I was not feeling well.  When it was time to canter, M warned me to make sure I set up her correctly and firmly asked her to do it.  Since she was being lazy, she bet that Blondie wouldn't pick it up the first time.  I waited until a corner, set her up, and she stepped into the canter.

The other way I had to whack her with the riding crop, and she picked up the wrong lead.  When I tried to pull her up, she wouldn't stop, so I started standing in my stirrups.  M told me to sit and stop standing!  I did, and used a wall to stop the horse.  It's funny how they don't like to run into solid obstructions.

The next time I asked she picked up the correct lead, but was going too fast.  It took about two trips around the arena to slow her up, and then she had a really nice canter. Except for this weird head shaking thing she just started doing.  M told me to ignore it today and we'll fix it later.  She didn't want me to get into fight with the horse, so after we cantered, she had me bring her into the middle and hop off.  She said it's the most in control I've been.  There have been fancier rides, but I was in charge.  Then she told me to go thank Jimmy for that!  It's Harley I have to thank, not that silly Morgan!!  

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