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Monday, November 8, 2010

A good day

So over the last week Gram thought she might want to be lame. After going out for Halloween, I decided it was better to just graze her on Sunday. That means she was on vacation Sunday and Monday. When I came out on Tuesday, she had some mysterious swelling in her left hind. It didn't seem to bother her and worked itself out after some movement. So I chocked it up to just being in the stall and the weather changing. Wendesday the swelling was back, and this time effected her movement. She ran around for the first bit taking off steps and tossing her head in the air... Now at this point I started to get concerned. But after a bit more movement, she seemed to have the off steps worked out. I continued with stretching exercises and then ended with our best canter halt yet. Thursday work kept me late, so no barn for me. Friday was shots and teeth floating performed by Dr. Nicky. This also meant that Saturday was a vacation, so the last week she was on vacation more than she was on the job. Ryan came back from Europe, so that meant a Sunday lesson. I was afraid how Gram would perform. Most of the time when she has that many days off, the first day back is not anything to write home about!

I started my lesson preparing Ryan for how bad this lesson may be... I brought up her days off, the off steps, her lion area was actually happy to be brushed, maybe the hind feet needed shoes or maybe even time to start Adequan shots. I walked for our normal 5-10 minutes, then then hesitantly asked for a stretchy trot... bum bum bummmm- she was awesome. No off steps, no leaning on me, just relaxed and swinging. By the way what is it about horses that makes them try to make us look like complete liars? I got the "Ryan look" which really is enough to make me feel like a moron without the need for words. It is like this look of confusion with a sideways glance that of course translates to me as "why are you such a freak?".

Our lesson was one of those where I felt like I hadn't missed a beat. I have been working on my crazy hands and elbows, and was feeling pretty good. During our lesson, I think I even surprised Ryan. I am getting better at re-balancing Gram from a quicker leg. She appreciates it, I am sure. If I can get my body to get the timing right we have great success. I have also started cheating on our downward. For now, I give the big half halts, then add a quiet "brrrrrrr" and she doesn't fall down. I think I will have to continue this until she understands that big half halt is a preparation for the downward transition.

We worked on our baby half pass at the canter to a counter canter, which she finally didn't break to trot! I am sure it was almost as ugly as it felt, but I was happy that she tried and had the right idea. Our trot half-passes probably could be better, but I am still struggling my own body in these. I have gotten the outside rein off to the side to encourage the crossing behind, but I have added my own lifting the hand up, which is bad and ugly! Just one more thing to ad to my list of things to remember not to do! FEI doesn't mean lift your hands way up (Feeling Elevation Inhands)! :) I know a stretch, but made me giggle to type.

Overall, our lesson was great! Just getting the feeling of the rebalance correct and really engaging Gram's hindquarters and then just the overall preparation of everything felt awesome. our lesson on Sunday made up for all the crappy riding I had been doing. I think a lot of it stems from my butt kicking at the Connelly Clinic! So thanks to Kathy for realizing that I could be pushed, and thanks to Ryan for continuing to push me!

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