Much better pony :-)

Woke up this morning and checked my phone to see how cold it was, you know gotta dress for the weather…   It was 34 degrees out!!! Need I remind you that I live in Florida!!  Ugh! I was very tempted to text my trainer to see if I could have my lesson later, but I wouldn’t do that last minute on her.  So I bundled up, 6 layers of clothing, and headed out to the barn.  On the way there I was thinking, Ollies either going to be very fresh, or very lazy, so I guess I was mentally preparing myself for the ride.  Got there, tacked up (very slowly), and got on.  He was not too lazy, but not too sensitive, just right.  We had a much better ride and I was very pleased :-).  Of course I have loads I need to work on with him, but I’m just happy that I was, well, happy with my ride.  I ended on a fairly good note, and my trainer was pleased with our little bits of progress.  But again I have loads I need to work on, including:

1.  Getting him to respond to me quicker.  There are certain things that he is just not always responsive about with me while I ride, and of course, it tends to be drawn out more in my lessons.  Including my canter transitions, almost every downward transition, and keeping him on task.  I know how to ask for the canter, and it gets very frustrating when I can’t get it immediately.  So thats one major thing I really want to work on because, to be honest, its a little embarrassing.  I know how to ask for the canter!! I really do.  Ollie says otherwise…

2.  Steering.  I need to learn that if Ollie starts doing body twists in weird directions, my hands aren’t my saviors.  In fact they are stopping him from going forward, which as my trainer was saying today, just go FORWARD and then figure out the straightness.  But its so hard!  Its like a involuntary reaction: he drifts, I quickly scramble to fix it with my hands.  But if I just soften and push him forward, I have such an easier time.

3.  I need to work on my eye.  I’ve always had trouble with seeing distances.  And when I was consistently riding the same horse in High School, I was getting very good and very sharp with my distances.  But after a lot of time off, and a lot of riding green horses, all that progress I made when I was younger has left the building.  Im just not as naturally gifted as some riders.  In fact, I was reading the latest Practical Horseman with Tori Colvin, and she spoke about how its so easy to see the distances on many horses.  Well Tori, I am mighty jealous of you!  It gets to the point that I scramble (I need to stop scrambling) to see SOMETHING, and I wait and wait and wait and CHIP, and ADD, and CHIP.  Good boy Ollie doesn’t mind much, but man I bring him to some horrible distances.  Ah well, it’ll come in time, hopefully.

4.  I need to relearn how to do my changes.  When I rode at my old barn, many of the horses had solid lead changes, and were almost automatic.  Now Ollie has great changes, but, and this kind of goes back to getting him more responsive to my leg and everything, its hard for me to figure his out.  Now granted I’ve only tried them twice, the first time he just la-de-dad on the wrong lead, and the second time he swapped the front but not the back.  I know once I figure him out they’ll be very easy, but until then…

And those are really the things I need to work on.  I also need someone to take videos and pictures of me riding!!! Ah well maybe Saturday

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