Saturday, July 18, 2009

Did someone say left?

On Tuesday, I made it out to the barn to ride. I was very concerned about the tingling sensation in my left foot and leg from last week, so I took it easy this weekend. When I rode, I concentrated carefully on keeping my left leg and buttock relaxed, and this seemed to help. I still had a few tingly sensations, but nothing as bad as last week.

We started out with the usual walk outside of the arena, where I really worked on forward without nagging with my leg. I know I nag too much, and I need to break myself of the habit, especially since I think it may be contributing to the tinglies in my foot. After coming into the arena, we worked on bending at the walk, and moving away from my leg. I worked on a lot of 10 meter serpentines up the centerline, counter-flexing on the left-hand half-circles and really moving his shoulders to the left. I remembered to take a lot of stretching breaks throughout the entire ride, which is something I need to do more often.

Tonight I decided to do some canter as part of the warm-up, so we had two disasterous canter transitions (you'd think I'd never ridden one, UGH) but nice relaxed canters. He fell in rather impressively to the left but was oddly straight to the right. We took another walk break and then went to do some serious trot work.

I really don't remember much about the first part of the trot except that it was its usual mess, with him falling to the inside rather horribly to the right. At some point I put my left hand down so the knuckle of my pinky finger touched the saddle and informed my hand that it was going to STAY THERE AND BE STEADY. I really moved his body over with my right leg and asked for right bend with a leading hand, and suddenly... we had it. He was in my left rein, standing up in his shoulders to the right. Holy cow. What happened to my horse??? It was like I was suddenly riding the outside of him, and it was working. Wow, what a feeling! We did a bunch of circles right, went around the arena right and actually bent to the right in the corners (O.M.G.), and it was just lovely.

Of course, then I had to jinx it all and go left, at which point he informed me that he could not possibly go into the right rein, that today we were ONLY going into the left rein, and that was simply too much for me to ask. He stiffened and set his jaw to the left at the least teeny half-halt on that rein. He tipped his head at the poll. It was generally ugly, so we went back right... and he was an angel. WTF???

So, now my horse goes fabulously well to the right (for one night and one night only, I suspect) but we had a serious fail to the left. At least some of the pieces are starting to come together though, even if it's only one direction!

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