On Sunday my friend came to ride Irish again. As always I started with ground work. My view of the ground work has undergone a shift. I don't use it to tire him out but to confirm that he's tuned into me and responding. On sunday it didn't take too long so I mounted up. We did some walk work and then I asked for a trot. As I started to post a squeaking noise started coming from my saddle. I had conditioned it the night before and it was my full seat breeches creating some friction in the saddle. Steele was a bit disturbed by having this squeaking coming from his back. He didn't know whether to trot faster or stop. He compromised by staying in the trot but trying to swivel his head to see what was up. I couldn't help it- I started to giggle. That seemed to relax him and he settled down right away. After a few rounds around the ring and the squeaking went away. We had a great time walking, trotting, steering and standing stock still while Irish cantered around us in a circle. t have to say that we had one of our best rides to date.
Tuesday was a very blustery day. My riding ring is surrounded by tall grass and bushes. Our ground work went very well but when I mounted I could tell that he was very uncertain about the way the grass and leaves were blowing around. Once Belle came bouncing out of the grass and he spun away. I sat up and said 'whoa' and he stopped immediately. Good boy. And thank you Royce. We went back to work and he spooked again- this time with a small hop. Again I said 'whoa' and he did. I realized that he was really uncertain. It's one thing to deal with this with me providing leadership on the ground. it's a whole different kettle of fish with me on his back. I could have dismounted but I don't think that would have helped. I decided that this called for some finesse.
|if only you could buy it in a bottle!|
Today was also breezy. However it was also hot and humid which may have helped. But this time there were no issues with the blowing grass or leaves. And we were able to work on our walk-trot-walk transitions and serpentines. Sometimes, as we cross the ring it becomes interesting because I think we should go left and he thinks that we should go right. It reminds me a bit of Ed and my early car trips and me helping him navigate Montreal.
|keep in mind that we are country folk|
And that I really need someone to come and take some photos. (hint, hint)