Saturday, October 31, 2009

Eyeballs? Take two, they're small!

What do eyeballs have to do with riding? Not a thing, but it the saying struck me as being so funny that I just had to share it. Tonight as the trick-or-treaters came to the door, my husband answered with our bowl of candy, saying, "Eyeballs? Take two, they're small!" to the kids. We found this so very amusing since the responses varied from, "Oooh, cool!" to "Are they REEEEEAL?" Apparently, chocolates covered in eyeball-looking foil for Halloween are all the rage... and just think of how much fun you can have asking kids if they'd like an eyeball!

Back to the point of this blog - riding. Life got away from me this week and I was only able to make it out on Thursday. We had a nice ride, and Saga was surprisingly mellow given how long he'd been in his stall (it's still muddy) and that there were four other horses in the arena. He didn't even try any head tosses! I was having a really hard time getting him off my right leg - we eventually got it, but it was tough. Because I figured out that I'm not keeping much weight in my right stirrup, I decided to do some work without stirrups. To the left, I was fine at the trot, but to the right, I kept sliding off to the left. This makes sense if I'm not sitting even. I'm hoping that I can talk FuzzyPony into doing some longe stuff with me. I need to get my position back!

Today I had a lovely ride and actually got to ride in the outdoor and around the outside of the arenas. Since we're going foxhunting next weekend, I decided to do some interval training work. We started off in the outdoor with a lot of walking and then a long trot on a loose rein. We took a break and then did a bit of canter, but I was concerned because the footing in the outdoor was deep in places and really chunky in others, so I decided to go ride out of the arena. We did a super long trot set, probably 8-10 minutes, where I alternated between two-point and posting trot. We popped over a few trot poles and a tiny X. Saga was really tired at the end of that trot set, and I could feel it in my legs, so we took another walk break.

A little unbalanced in the trot going downhill, but soft and listening to me.

We finished with a three-ish minute canter set, both directions. FuzzyPony very kindly took pictures of us and got some really fantastic ones.

Ignore Saga in this picture and focus on the tips of Taran's adorably fuzzy ears that frame this so perfectly!

Nice uphill left lead canter. I tried really hard on this ride to keep my lower leg forward and under me. Not too bad here.

Right lead canter goign downhill. He's still pretty balanced but reaching out in front. I'm sitting up a litte here to balance him as well.

More right lead canter downhill. I love this shot because he's cantering past the resident sheep without batting an eye. Such a good boy!

Coming back uphill on the right lead. My leg has slipped a bit but I like the way this shot looks.

I was really pleased with how the ride went. Riding out of the arena means that we got some work on uneven ground, and he kept his balance really quite well. He was rateable and steady up to the little X and we got very nice spots each time. He's still hard to balance when he gets tired, but I think that if we keep doing this sort of thing it will be much easier as he gets stronger and I become better able to rate him.

Aren't Taran and Saga so handsome? And thanks FuzzyPony for taking all the pictures!

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