Getting Back In the Groove

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Nyk, wondering where his peppermint is

My riding schedule changed after the 1st, and now I ride Tuesday – Friday.  Two of the lessons are later in the evening, which means I’m up past my normal bedtime, which makes getting up the next morning a challenge.  The worst part is that they are two days in a row. Ugh.

I had a couple of break through moments, finally.  On Tuesday, Nyk wouldn’t flex to the right, so we worked on making him give on that side of the bridle.  It finally connected how to make him hold his head in a certain place without pulling on  his face all the time.  I just have a hard time doing this at the walk with him.  He buries his head and it’s hard to get it back up without a huge fight.

Wednesday during the group lesson we worked again on flexing left and right, and on turning on the forehand and turning on the haunches.  I didn't get the turning on the haunches at all.  M had to come over, hold my leg, and walk in a circle with us.  After figuring out that I had to sit back, Nyk started to do it.  Then during the cool out I worked on it again, and started to figure it out.  I keep pulling him back instead of holding him from walking off.

Thursday, I braved the snow to drive to the other barn.  Ironically, S had me practice a pattern, which included a turn on the haunches.  I rode Lucky, and the first time I asked for the turn, he did it perfectly.  I mentioned that we had worked on it the night before, and then S had me practice a few more times.

One funny thing happened during the lesson. I was cantering with no stirrups, and one of the cats ran out in front of us, jumping up on the railing as we were going by.   It almost collided with Lucky.  Lucky’s only reaction as to bobble a little and get a little faster.  I started laughing, and S said that most of the other horses would have spooked at that.  I know that Blondie would have lost her tiny horsy mind if that had happened to her. 

I am excited about next week’s lesson because I have graduated to a different horse.  I wonder which it will be?

Last night, we worked on getting Nyk to give in to the right side of the bridle again.  I was getting frustrated with him at the walk, because he kept dropping his head and I couldn’t get him gathered back up.  I was getting frustrated with myself because I started pulling at him and locking up my hands, which only made things worse.  The lesson ended well, though, with a slow canter on the right lead without me having the keep checking his speed.

On the Blondie front – I have been working her  on a longe line every day I’ve been at the barn.  I haven’t been working her very hard because I didn’t want to have to wait an hour for her to cool out, but I have been trying to get her back in a routine again after her time off.  She is being better about standing in the cross ties and she is listening to voice commands on the line, but she is so out of shape I want to take things easy so she doesn’t hurt herself.

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