My biggest struggle with the ride was keeping her up and in front of my leg. She was really curling behind the bit, but was still forward so I was playing the balancing act of more leg/slow down and balance. She was really rushed and on her forehand BUT, we were moving forward, and we were (mostly) not bucking which is a nice step and I need to be better about acknowledging that.
I had the barn to myself last night, which happens just enough that I enjoy it, and not so often that I get bored. So I threw the video camera up, and (of course) didn't get nearly as nice footage as I wanted, but in the spirit of sharing our shortcomings, I'll throw another clip up.
I let P run around the ring again. She didn't have much steam to burn off so we played a nice game of tag. I'd chase her, then stop, turn and run and she'd come skittering after me. Then I'd stop, turn and waggle my arms at her chasing her away again. I think she enjoyed it. Lots of snorting and head tossing. She is pretty damn cute when she wants to be....
We had a quick lunge, and she was above average, so I was pretty hopefully about our ride. In fairness, she was pretty good. She didn't balk in her trot transitions at all (good mare!! SUGAR), and she was immediately willing to trot forward. Still tight, still holding her back, but better than two weeks ago.
I think last night, I was the one to blame. I felt myself get frustrated and I really wanted to "go-to" some sharp kicks and rein jabs when she was totally tuning me out. I was sorta disappointed with myself for that. I was being a chicken about supporting her with my left leg (regardless of the direction) and I was enabling her "curl" with my hand. Last night reinforced the fact that my patience is still a little damaged. I don't trust that Pia will meet me halfway, so I'm preemptively being a snot to her. I can't imagine that is a good long term solution, and it's something I know I need to get over.
Essentially, I indulged in my bad habits (long reins, took my leg off, pumped my shoulders, over corrected...). This is why I still need lessons on a (very) regular basis. That, or some sort of mental reset button so that my frustrations don't leak out into Pia's brain.
For all of those retrospective faults of mine, P put in a good show. She didn't kick ONCE in a canter transition (YAY!), and the crappy ones were my fault. I really need to set her up better to the right...
Our leg yields were pretty good. She kept me honest, when I wasn't supporting her, she just fell out to the side, when I did support her she lifted an crossed over nicely. Same with our lengthenings:
Support = nice push and stretch.
No Support = diving on forehand and rushing
A pretty good push in her lengthening when I ask right...
(Sorry for the blur. zooming in on this video is sorta tragic)
She never really softened to the right, something which I started picking on a little too late in the ride to get any good results. But all in all. We rode on our own, barely spooked at three scarrrrrry cars as they came down the driveway, and we deserved lots of sugar.
Clearly I am the one who needs to step up their game a little. :)
Here's a clip of a couple leg yields and one lengthening I think. It's not our best one, but it was the first one I found to make a clip of. You can definitely see when I'm riding correctly and when I'm not. P is not subtle about her intolerance of sub-par horsemanship.