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Lisa's Blog post # 29
It is great to ride a normal horse again! For the first time since we moved to Oak Hill 5½ months ago Cotton is cantering all around the stadium ring and XC field completely relaxed and calm. I love it!
For our last ride, after our trot work, we cantered 1½ times around the stadium ring at a relaxed pace both directions and then did some canter/trot transitions and circles. Granted, there were no poles on the ground but his attitude was noticeably chill.
Today we did canter/trot transitions all over the XC field. There was a time or two when he wanted to ease into a canter without my asking but I just kept him in a trot and he quickly forgot about it. He didn’t switch leads at all during the down-shifts and he didn’t have that energetic buzz to him like he was plugged into an electrical outlet!
I read through my old posts the other day and can certainly celebrate how far we’ve come in these past 22 weeks. I think I’ve probably only had about 65 - 70 rides on him during this whole time (those who ride full time would have logged in about 130 rides) and yet Lesley has helped resolve quite a few issues – his and mine.
It seems we are almost to a starting place! Once Lesley gets us jumping a stadium course at the canter (even if it’s just Maiden level fences) we will be where I had hoped to start out when I got him almost a year ago. We still have a long way to go – cantering a stadium course will be a biggie and then there’s the whole XC thing … (yikes!)
I have to admit that the various events of this past 5½ months have given me cause to pause. I still have to make a conscious effort to correctly execute all the myriad details that matter so much to my sweet, sensitive horse and that keep him going smoothly - to balance my weight properly, to keep my hands up and my elbows elastic, to keep my rib cage up, to ride forward from seat to hand, etc., etc. I’m not sure I’ll feel completely confident again until I’m at the point where these particulars are second nature to me…we’ll see.
Cool weather will be here in about 3½ months – we need to conquer stadium, get a solid start on XC and be able to do dressage in his snaffle without any fights –
I’m very optimistic!
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