July 15, 2010

Slanted Riding Ring

I didn't take any pictures the last time I rode Willy on Sunday July 11th.  I was pretty tired from being in Salida with Steve for a brew fest with his Home brew Club.  We had a lot of fun there, but that would be another blog all together!

Willy was moved again but this time back in his old run and was with a grey...mare? gelding? honestly I didn't look that closely because Willy was right at the gate looking at me, ready to go.  I decided to buy a halter, they are cheap and I loath those rope ones.  I worry I don't tie them right and with one swift move of Willy's head he could be halter free....not my idea of fun.  So I purchased a standard buckle halter....green of course, slipped it on him and lead him to the outside wash rack area since the indoor ring was occupied.  The only issue I had with him was the polo wraps.  I had three on and was working on the last hind leg.  He kept lifting up his leg and holding it there.  Not exactly easy to apply the polo!  I looked for a cut or bug bite that maybe was causing him irritation but I think he was just being a little pill!  I finally got those wraps on and proceeded with the saddle and bridle.

I decided that I would ride in the big ring today for fun.  We started out walking the entire edge of the ring and then I had Willy weave in and out of some cones that were left there and then walk over some ground poles.  Nothing too challenging!  I worked on spiraling in and out on a ciracle using one cone as the central point, not too bad!  Then we did some trotting, I just can't seem to sit the trot with him very well.  He was an endurance horse so maybe a slower trot is not in him?  I've tried and he may trot slowly for a few strides but then go into a walk.  I have to constantly get him started, slow him down but then he walks and then I try to get him trotting again...it gets frustrating and on Sundays I like to take it easy.  I like to practice a little but not worry too much about perfection, that type of goal is best when I have an instructor critiquing my riding!  So we just did posting trot, which was a little hard to keep consistent but then I realized it was most likely because the riding ring was on a hill.  As we went up the short side Willy picked up a little speed to get up the hill, on the other short side as we went downhill he seemed to slow down a bit...actually that was fine with me since trotting down a hill isn't very smooth to say the least!  Too bad the ring wasn't graded flat, that would actually not be too difficult.  Once I realized the ring was slanted I had Willy walk up and down the long sides across the grade of the arena.  That made riding the trot much more consistent. 

Willy's a cute old man.  I untacked him, groomed him and gave him his usual hugs before heading home.  It was Sunday afternoon and I was starting a new job on Monday!  Happy riding!


Anonymous said...

It's pretty natural for them to speed up uphill and slow down downhill to use their hindquarters correctly. Is there someone who could lunge you so you could work on your sitting trot without having to worry about his speed? The trick to the sitting trot is to keep your legs, back and pelvis relaxed - if you're tight anywhere it'll prevent you from going with the motion and may cause him to either slow down or speed up. You can actually do a lot of practice work on this at the walk - make sure your hips are moving, your back is flexing and your legs are relaxed and feel each footfall. Then you can carry that feel forward into the trot.

Dreamy Horse Crazy Gal said...

My riding instructor lunges me a lot. The horse Divine is my lesson horse and I've worked on her a lot, doing quite well I might add. I'm just having difficulty with Willy but I'm not too worried about it Sundays I like to work on things but also just play around with a horsie! It makes sense about the speeding up and slowing down I just had not realized the reason for most of the ride! LOL