Before I get into the play by play of tonight’s ride with Ray, I wanted to give my trainer Terraka a good shout out. Today I pulled a few firsts, made possible by her giving me the go ahead to ride after work once a week. I was able to head up the barn with my dog and practice some things from Celena’s clinic while it was all still fresh, in the quiet and peace of the indoor while the rain poured outside.
My tentative plan to do a short trail ride was immediately abandoned due to my wimpiness of not wanting to ride in the rain, and since there was no one at the barn I erred on the side of caution. Riding alone is one thing; riding when there’s no one nearby to help another. I set up some obstacles and exercises and tacked Ray up (thankfully he was chilling in his stall, so no mud to deal with!)
I stuck with his snaffle instead of the Kimberwick, as he doesn’t even really need a bit for the ring, but I wanted to test his give to the bit. It definitely got much better after the hour was up! Instead of setting his jaw and sticking his nose out when I gathered contact, he dropped his poll and sighed, much improved!
I practiced on my two point/soft seat, man that needs work! I still tend to brace too much in the stirrups and lean forward like some poor, over boobed bimbo, but practice makes better. Ray only tried to squirrel out once, but I just took a deep breath and kept him chugging along. He made my legs work for it!
I did two “firsts” this afternoon, well, first post child anyway. I cantered in the ring, a full circle! We worked on rating, as he wanted to charge canter toward the gate and slog away from the gate, I was able to keep him moving without him tossing his head above the bit. After the heavy work was done, I popped his saddle off and slid back on bareback. I didn’t trot, just cooled him out at the walk cause that poor redhead is not made for bareback riding. Oohhh, those withers!
I’m utterly satisfied by this evening. Once I made the decision to stick to the ring, I was much more relaxed and focused more on riding correctly than just staying mounted. Clearly I still have a long ways to go, but now that I’m able to ride twice a week things should move a bit quicker. Neither Ray or I are quite conditioned for Grizzly, so we’re aiming now for Prineville, a similar ride I haven’t yet been to a few weeks later. We’ll go camping at Sisters Cow Camp instead of Grizzly, and get a good solid ride in at the 7-9mph we need to hit to actually finish a ride.
I can’t wait!
PS I was able to take videos of myself due to the case Tom made me buy for the iPhone; the Rokform case comes with a heavy duty magnet that sticks to pretty much anything metal & it sure comes in handy!