Argh – I’m having computer problems again. Let’s not even discuss it, but my PC has to be wiped and reloaded. I think I am going to have the guys at work set up a wireless connection for me, so I can just use my netbook. That might cut down on some of this down times because my computer needs to be disinfected…. Of course, the stupid netbook would not connect through the cable modem – wtf? After spending 30 minutes on a tech support call with Comcast, I hooked up my old laptop, and then brought the Acer downstairs to get some writing done. Imagine my surprise when it latched onto one of the neighbor’s unsecured access points – why couldn’t it have done that before I wasted half an hour on the phone????
Quick horse update – Wednesday was the group lesson. It was cold again, so we didn’t get the horses too worked up. We were supposed to start by practicing halts on the rail, but Blondie was having a blonde moment and she started getting a little light in the loafers. I don’t know if it was because of the rain pinging on the metal roof or what, but M told me to not even fight with her and to just go trotting. Blondie was fine after that. She was good at the canter and even stood in the middle while some of the other horses cantered. Because of flooding from the melting snow, part of the arena is blocked off. It’s a pisser because the temps have dropped again and everything else is frozen solid.
Thursday was a drive out to the other barn. Arnold was being naughty, so S was actually riding when I got there. It is interesting watching the way different people correct naughty ponies. S is more of a lateral, bendy, twisty, half-pass type of rider. Until she sent him around the rail, smacking him on the rear with her hand. Man, it sounded like that stung. Silly pony! Just behave and you don’t have to work so hard!
I rode Tag again, and he was starting to frustrate me at the walk. He kept burying his head between his knees. I thought maybe I was holding too much draw rein, but S came over and walked beside me, showing me how she keeps his head up at the walk. She told me that she does that with him to keep him light in the bridle and thinking. She really gave the reins a pop – it wasn’t soft, it was very insistent. M has done the same thing, but I just didn’t get it before. I didn’t really get it on Thursday night, either. I did get it Friday when I rode Blondie. Wow! What a difference!
S had me practice dropping from a canter to a trot, but I kept clucking at Tag and getting him all worked up. I am used to having to cluck a lot at Blondie. And even at Nyk. Tag doesn’t need all of that annoying noise, apparently, and it was getting him going. I wasn’t as nervous with his bigger trot, and was kind of liking it, but S had me slow him down and have him stop being a park horse. Which is good, because I didn’t want to have issues with him when he got too big for me to handle.
Friday I rode Blondie because M fixed Nyk for the show. No problem – I love to ride both of my ponies! I got on Blondie, immediately took contact with her mouth, and didn’t let her drop her head. For the whole lesson. I just keep giving the little pops that S showed me, giving and rewarding when Blondie stopped pulling at the bit. I was totally amazed – I have been trying to get that horse to hold her head up for 3 years, and I haven’t been able to do it. Finally, I feel like I am making some progress here. Her nose was stuck out, but M told me not to worry about that. When she’s wearing a show bridle, the curb bit will tuck her nose in. I think she was a little surprised about it, too. I know that D was surprised on Sunday, when I kept her head up again. Man, I feel like the past 6 months have finally paid off. Let’s see if I can do it again the next time I ride her!
The Friday night lesson was very frustrating because not everyone in the arena was in control of their horses. Two of the kids out there don’t even pay attention to what is going on around them, and with the smaller floor space available because the far end is still not dry, that is not a good thing. There was almost an accident because one of the girls was off in la-la land. I was kind of glad to take Blondie back to her stall before something happened out there. Pay attention, for cripes sake! One of the girls even shows, but she still doesn’t know how to find a place on the rail when there’s traffic in the ring. Argh!!!