April 1, 2014

First ride after two months

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I bought a bareback pad for Kasane over the weekend. It’s a Thinline bareback pad. Fits her very well and I actually rode in it for the first time today. It was crazy warm today (almost 80F) so she was very mellow. I put the bareback pad on her and lunged. She was great, as always. She has the loveliest lope.

I got on her and we felt so discombobulated. It’s been months since I’ve been on her. We’re starting off easy at first. Light rides to get both of us in shape. It felt like she couldn’t walk in a straight line — probably caused by me not sitting straight or not having myself balanced properly. We did some basic circles and got used to each other again. I remembered where to put my legs to ask her to move underneath herself when on the circle (inside leg pushes over, outside leg holds).

Last time I rode, we had trouble with not being able to keep a steady tempo at a trot. I ended up having a mini lesson with one of my instructors which helped a lot. One of the things they pointed out then was that I tend to lean forward and gather the reins too much when she speeds up.

So we trotted a little bareback this time. Sure enough, she sped up. Not to the point where she felt like she would roll into a canter, but close. So we did some walk, whoa, half halts, etc. to get both of us relaxed and communicating better. I asked her to trot again and this time I carefully looked at where my posture was, how I was sitting. I lengthened the reins and decided that we would only ask her slow down using my seat. When I’m bareback I also have a habit of tightening a little with my legs. I took a deep breath, sat back a little more, and relaxed my legs and lower body. In like two or three steps she slowed down and then walked. I was elated. She repeated that four times (both directions) and at that point I got off. It was an excellent breakthrough after only a 15 minute ride.

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