I am determined to improve my riding in the arena, this winter, so I got out my old Mary Wanless book. I am reviewing chapter by chapter. I got to the chapter on breathing and bearing down—and I realized I wasn’t doing it right anymore. Somewhere during trail riding and breaking in a new horse, I lost it. I practiced all day at work to prepare for my rides.
I started out with Cruiser, my older horse that I am starting anew. Guess what—he had his best day of the winter. I got real rounding of his back. His circles were considerably better and he took such lovely contact on the bit. My old Cruise is coming back…we even did some halfway decent cantering.
Next horse, Cole Train. He is the little horse with the huge trot. He has improved with leaps and bounds over the last few months, but I have still been hit or miss with my own seat—trying to ride him. He has so much natural suspension that staying with him can be tough—and the sitting trot is my personal best gait. Well, I found myself moving right with him—hardly budging from the saddle. I have had it happen before, but not with that much consistency. I still have a long way to go—my feet are still clunking in the stirrups—but I did find a missing ingredient.
Though it was just a little above freezing, I was dripping with sweat. This takes a lot more muscle than can be imagined! At least I wasn’t running out of breath, anymore. Sometimes I wish Cole was an ordinary horse. After about 20 minutes of trotting, we decided to walking exercises. Then, I got cold because I had sweated. He didn’t sweat a drop.
There is so much I need to do with Cole, but until I can get anywhere, I need to be able to ride him, well. I feel I am a little closer now. I will practice this over the weekend, and then go on to the next chapter…