I haven't been ignoring P all week, but it has been spottier than I'd like. Wednesday I finally got out (that made for a total of two days off since our "meh" ride on Sunday) to ride the mare. The real excitement was that somehow the sun broke through the Seattle clouds and gave everyone a false sense of springtime.
It didn't feel false though, in fact, it felt downright LOVELY and even my craptastic-rental car actually showed me the temperature (not sure how, it hasn't done that before) and confirmed that it hit that magical 60 degree mark.
|Crappy car likes the sunshine too..|
Since our last couple of rides were squirrley, I popped the mare into the arena to buck around on her own for a few minutes. She was cute and cantered in a couple circles before coming into the middle and sticking her nose in my hand. I sent her out a few more times, but she wasn't very rambunctious and kept returning to me and shoving her nose in my hand like "mom, I'm done, let's do something else now thanks."
So, I trusted her, and took her back in to tack up. Her eye seemed soft and the fact that another pony was getting ready appeared to be very calming, frankly, so was the warm breeze and the fact that for the first time this year I wasn't tacking while wearing my extra puffy barn jacket :)
My chicken self still lunged P before I got on, but she was nice and slow (maybe a little mincy to start). Her ears and eyes were still soft so I popped on after about 5 minutes. Since another horse was working I decided to walk a lap or two before starting our trot, just to suss out any new scary spots in the ring. Not too surprisingly, with her trusty buddy there to protect her, P was suddenly not upset about the scary corner, scary wall or even the scary mounting block. When I asked for her to trot, she did so without hesitation. There was one sticking point on the gate side of the ring (ugh, MARE!), but after that she didn't protest too loudly. It took longer than normal to really get her engine revved up, but she wasn't outright ignoring me which was a nice change.
Since she was being good, I tried to focus on a few things like straightness, getting her in my outside rein, and staying between my legs on smaller circles. I've been so focused on moving forward, that I haven't been too picky about drifting through my aids which hasn't been helped by the fact that I really haven't school anything smaller than a 20 meter circle in a month.
The small circles made P cranky, and she tried to pop her shoulder and blast out of them, but we got a few good ones and then moved on. After some decently balanced canter work totally absent of any freakouts, I pressed my luck with some babyleg yields. Starting at the 1/8th line and nudging over, I was trying really hard to keep the mare relaxed and moving off my leg.
I'd really like to start reintroducing some lateral work to get her paying more attention to smaller aids, but when we left off with our lateral work, it was causing some serious ear pinning and chest biting.
I'm happy to say that we accomplished decent leg yields in both directions without changing our frame or getting too stuck. I worked up to the quarter line in both directions and then called it a day.
Again, probably only 20 minutes under saddle, but she was so consistent and polite it seemed only fair to let her go graze and enjoy some of the sunshine.
This weekend looks like it's supposed to actually be sunny, so I'm planning a full attack of the barn. :)
Also, Denali's Mom and I are adventuring to a local schooling show to catch up, watch cute kids on ponies and sneak some crappy horse show food. Yahoo!
Also, as promised here are a couple shots of Miss Poppet in all her massive preggers glory. She's so furry and bulging I love it.
|Hunting for more snacks.. I'm pretty sure she maybe would have eaten me if I let her|