I haven’t felt like missing sleep lately to write this summer, so it has been a while.
It was lesson day at the farm! We started up at 6:50am, it was almost cold, which is unheard of in August. I started out on Bali. It has been a month since my last lesson…
But first, I had a show 2 weeks ago, which was pretty good. I had my best score yet at 3rd level, with a 63% and all scores over 61% for all 4 tests I rode.
Then, after getting red, white and blue ribbons, I got a bonus in the mail, I had won a Dover Adult Amateur Medal for Second Level! That was definitely a nice perk a week later.
In my lesson, I was working on the same concepts we’ve been working on all year. Getting Bali more through and over the back keeping her shoulders up and pushing her neck out. When I was on vacation, she went to Inga for 3 weeks of real training! It was the first time I’ve ever had that luxury, and there was definite improvement. I’m still green on green with Bali, we’ve made progress and we are not green at general riding, but attempting to move up the levels is hard. Learning what things are supposed to feel like when you and the horse are learning at the same time is a challenge. One that we’ve been meeting for years, but this was definitely a welcome luxury.
One thing that came out of the time away was a slight tweak in how we are asking for more forward and engagement. Now, I am to get her really supple and bent, even though it is not as forward as I want, then after she is supple, ask for more. It is really working nicely.
Bali has become so much more consistent, and I’m getting closer to being more consistent. The one thing that Inga told me at the end of the three weeks is “you need to be more consistent than you think you are being to move up”.
Of course, I worked all consistent up until the show, then started playing around in the fields with gallops, including getting bucked off when I failed to shorten my stirrups and just laughed at Bali…whoops, and probably not as through as we should be, but fun, while Neuf is having his pro rides.
At the show, Doug shot this picture
Now I usually sit up pretty straight and tall, so what in the heck was I doing. I realized, I was asking for a flying change, or thinking about it, or something. Egads, no wonder poor Bali is late behind and has to make such a huge move, she’s got a crooked sack of potatoes up there!
I am starting to be less tense in the flying changes, when schooling with unlimited space in a field. I need to refine that for the ring and show ring.
Back to the lesson…this is the problem when you go months between blog entries…hard to stay focused…
I worked on really getting her forward in the canter, not letting her fall onto her shoulders, then keeping that same canter in a circle after developing it straight. I am still having a hard time being consistent in getting straight. When she is straight, it definitely all moves up a notch.
Today, the most advanced thing we did was leg yielding. It was all about straight and coming through and consistent contact. Me on the outside rein.
Bali is such a cool mare. I am lucky to have her!
All photos today are courtesy of Doug Gorton! Thanks as always.