I guess with my crazy schedule, weekly updates are going to be a regular thing for us now. Don’t worry, I’m still trying to stay up to date on everyone elses blogs! Just with school, the barn, work at the barn, and my other job, finding time to just sit and take a moment to relax is becoming harder to do. Anyways….
Thanks so some bug my generous roommates gave me, and the gross weather we’ve been having in North Central Florida, my riding hasn’t been very consistent. Friday was able to ride, but had to ride in a field because the ring was way to wet and sucky from all the rain. Saturday I didn’t feel well enough to ride, or really leave my bed, but I still tried and got a flat tire. Dealt with that all Saturday and Sunday morning.
Libby got her teeth done on Saturday when I was sick, so I couldn’t go to watch or talk to the dentist, but supposedly she wasn’t that bad. He did say shes one of the more sensitive horses hes worked on so that could contribute to any rooting or fussiness with the bit, but overall her teeth weren’t bad. Knock that off the excuses list.
Sunday midday I was able to shoot over to the barn to ride. Again it was out in the field, but Libby seems to prefer that to the ring. Don’t know why, but my lazy quiet calm Libby mare resurfaces out in the open space. I love it! Did some trot sets out in the field and Lib was definitely tired afterwards.
Monday I felt terrible again, but I went to the barn anyways. Was supposed to have a lesson, but my trainer suggested she hop on Libby instead for a training ride. I was so glad she did because not only did I not feel well, but the weather had suddenly decided to become normallish Florida and it was hot and humid. I don’t know if it would have been a good idea to put a feverish sick person on a horse in that heat. It also gave me a good chance to watch Libby go. Even in the small amount of time I’ve been at the new barn, with just under 5 lessons, Libby already looks and feels like a different horse. Her trot work is so much more improved, and her canter looks normal again! No more peg legged canter strides, and shes really reaching with her hindend. My trainer complimented me on staying so close to the program we’ve set for her, and on doing all my homework on Libby when were not in a lesson. She even said her ridability has increased so much, which is great!! Of course, Libby isn’t totally rideable yet, but its an awesome improvement from when we came in. She did a lot of strength training with her, lots of pole work and tight turns to really get Lib on her hind end. And then she started jumping a bit. This was where a lot of the issues came out. Not because Libby was being bad, but shes very used to me being in a light half seat, and kind of allowing A LOT. My trainer was sitting and making Libby collect and use herself, which she did, but would sometimes fall off the lead or break due to weakness. All ok, it can only get better right? I did take some video to show you guys 🙂
Wednesday I had a lesson. We did some pole work in the beginning, really getting her to ‘sit’. This was such hard work for me and Lib. Since shes not strong in her hind end yet, she still tries to rely on my hand to hold her up a bit. It wasn’t too bad, definitely not what it used to be, but I did have some weight in my hands. After a lot of that, we did some canter circles, really getting her to use herself, and give us a quality canter, which she did. Her canter now is so bouncy, and hard to sit, but I know she just getting so much stronger. Then we went on to jumping. I wish I had some video of it, maybe next time though. We started off over a little vertical, and then headed to a bending four. At one point during the four I sat back, and woahed and Libby “melted” back to me. Such a great feeling! After the bending four was the liver pool, and then my arch nemesis, the one stride. The one stride isn’t normally too bad for us, but the way we were jumping it gave us maybe a stride and a half on the back side until we had to turn. This for whatever reason makes me so nervous, since I feel like I can’t turn in time. And Libby always makes a huge effort over the out of the one stride, and pops me right out of the tack. This makes me SUPER nervous since it brings me back to the time my old trainer was trying to get us to jump big and I lost my balance. So enter Shelleys nerves. Thankfully though, with my trainers voice and me literally burying my hands into Libbys mane, I came out alive. Trust the MARE!
Haven’t been able to ride again since because of school/work and this awful weather, but hopefully I’ll be able to squeeze a ride in tomorrow.
BTW for anyone interested check out Hillarys blog at Equestrian at Hart to enter the Higher Standards giveaway!!