I rode Ro in a clinic today.
In the spirit of My Ever-Loving Luck, the temps dropped significantly this weekend and it was a chilly 45-ish degrees when I arrived at the barn. Well, so said my truck thermometer, and we all know how accurate those things are.
I did plan ahead—and was on time!—so I was on her far enough ahead of my clinic session to get her moving and let her sort out the worst of the weather goosiness.
But between the weather and my being stressed and tense for other reasons, we ended up with—surprise—a ride in which Ro impersonated a plank of wood and I had to keep fighting the urge to curl up in a ball over her withers. Not very successfully, I might add.
But I will say this: we had some really nice moments.
The walk—on the buckle, we’re great. Picking up contact, not so much. The problem is that we don’t school much at the walk, so Ro equates picking up contact with heading in to the trot and starts anticipating. Bad schooling habit on my part, and something to address because the walk was one of the things we got murdered on in the show last weekend.
The trot—Ro pretty much wanted to blow through my aids, and I was just not processing instructions quickly enough. Ro had that figured out very quickly and simply blew threw my aids.
But there were moments in the ride where things really came together, and watching on the video (yes, there is video) you can see the potential there. But I just couldn’t hold her together, and even if my aids had been rock solid, she doesn’t have the strength to carry herself correctly (even lower-level correctly) for long.
The canter—It was an improvement over our canter in recent weeks. I don’t know what my issue is, but lately in the canter I lock up, clamp my thighs, and Ro (rightly so) says eff you and we end up with this awful mess. But I was better today about holding my position without locking up, and managed to relax my leg more and keep more of my weight in my stirrups and not in my thighs/seat, and, naturally, the canter was better as well.
At least we had rhythm and she is starting to reach underneath herself again; I had enough of a position to start thinking about being able to do something at the canter, where lately I couldn’t sort myself out, much less Ro.
All told, I was happy with the ride. It was an honest ride that reflected the good and bad of where we are.
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