Life is starting to settle a little after the death of my father-in-law and the submission of big proposal. I was able to slip out of work a little early today so I could ride before it got dark.
It wasn't our best ride.
Because of time constraints and not being able to fit schooling rides in, our last couple of rides have been lessons. Lesson rides are always better than the schooling ones. My instructor just catches the itty bitty nuances that I am too slow to catch and we get somewhere better and faster. So this ride just felt not as sharp and productive without her guidance.
Going to the left it wasn't bad but going to the right, his outside jaw was locked. I jiggled and loosened and tightened and spoke to him ... but it was still tight. Each time we hit the far side of the ring, he broke out in a trot and wouldn't go back to the walk until I broke out the aggresive aids. The new sexy mare at the farm is in heat and was just down the hill out of his sight so I think that had something to do with the speeding up on the far side. Or he was just being a pain.
Despite the unauthorized trotting and the tight jaw, his back was still fairly loose though ... so it wasn't all bad.
The good part of this ride though is that I kept hearing my instructor in my ear. At one point when I was fighting him in a trot circle.... jaw still tight, shoulder jutting out.... I heard her ... "stop climbing up his shoulder". And yup... sure enough I was forgetting to sit back and was instead pushing his motion and climbing up his shoulder. With her words in my ear, I sat up taller, opened my hips and sat back. Shazam! Instantly he was moving out better and straighter. The feeling of winds pushing our sails (another one of her mantras) was back.
Its one of the reasons I write this blog. Its a way of documenting the feeling I get when I take my lessons so its easier to recreate during our schooling rides. I can't always have my instructor at my rides but its nice to know I can hear her even when she's not there.... oh shoot... that makes me sound like I'm nuts.. hopefully you understand!