I went to the barn with the hubby today, just for a short little time. I wanted him to capture a couple pictures of me riding Dani. My goal this year is to work on my confidence, as you all know it's been shot and it will take some time to get back to where I've been before. I've done mostly groundwork with Dani and have a lot more I plan on working with her on but I need to also get into the saddle more often, even if it's only for 20 minutes just doing some little exercises. It will help us both out immensely. I'm not worried too much about collection, lightness yes and Dani doesn't pull on the bit which is good. She's very responsive to my seat and legs for turning and for halting.
I certainly felt tense today but kept trying to remind myself to relax, it will be a process. I talked softly to Dani too which is also calming for me. It will be a long time before my fear gets back to a normal level, I feel silly sometimes but Steve said it's only human nature when you had three falls within a short period of time that scared the daylights out of you. Even one fall is enough to unnerve most people, especially the Desperados Storm fall! She tried to speed up a few times, not sure why at one point but the other time I think she got a little nervous at cars coming down the driveway. We haven't done much in the outdoor arena so it's new to her and I.
I still had the issues with mounting, Dani would swing her butt away when I went up to the mounting block. I tried backing her and then making her swing her butt each way to show her that it was more difficult to not just stand calmly. Finally I just mounted from the ground, and when she tried to move I pulled on the outer rein which stopped her. She stood still while I was "in the air" mounting at least but I'll have to show Laurie the issue I've had with the mounting block. I would like to get her trained on that but I still don't want to get out of the habit of being able to mount from the ground. She's a small enough horse and I won't always have a mounting block. I'll see what Laurie says during my lesson next Saturday.
I want to work on exercises like serpentines, going in and out of cones or some such obstacle and doing spirals. I tried a spiral but could only either get her on a big or tiny circle, not much of a transition spiraling in or out. We'll work on it! There was a weird sound coming from one end of the arena, something with the wind and I know Dani noticed it a few times but with a little bit of squeezing on the reins she came back to me at least. It was good to be on her riding. I think the saddle and bridle work well for her, it doesn't appear to be pinching and the bit I have seems to work well. We'll see, things can always change with tack and I'm not against making minor adjustments of finding a bit that she likes better. Like I said she seems to be doing okay with this bit. I haven't done much riding with her in this bit so she's still getting used to it.
Well, happy riding! Hope the weather is nice like it's been the past couple days here in Colorado! Nothing like going from the single digits to the 50s!