So, firstly, I hope everyone has a fantastic Fourth of July weekend. I myself am perpetually terrifed by fireworks up close, and Texas has a never-ending burn ban, so my family and will just stick it out and watch The Boston Pops tomorrow night! Although, I'm not looking forward to seeing some of the their guest stars. Nothing says "America" like Robert Pattinson! Oh, sigh....
So, Greta (my Naturalized Swedish American pony bahaha) has been superb lately, considering she has been in for almost a week now due to the nasty weather, although today it quickly cleared up. I liked the cool weather, just not the mud and muck that came with it. But even though it will get hotter, it means Greta and I won't be getting bored anymore with having to confine ourselves to the covered arena, and we can continue our work in the outdoor arena and the pastures.
She has been exceptional about longeing, and yesterday and today she picked up her transitions like a pro (trot a few strides, canter a few strides, go back to trot, go to walk, go to canter). We have been working on those on the longeline, because I am hoping that it might help some under saddle to get her body used to a bit more collected transitions. Also, it's a great focusing tactic, and I know I will be doing such exercises on the longeline at the Wolfgang May Clinic next Sunday. They worked last time to ensure she was listening to my cues, so I am trusting that they will work this time.
Today under saddle went very well, until I had to stop to tighten the girth because I felt the saddle slipping a little bit (and when I checked the girth it had become a bit loose). So Greta threw a little hissy fit because we didn't stop working, figuring her job was done. It wasn't. We still had the transitions to work on. We actually rode for and hour and a half today, and it was a hard workout! I was sweating, but of course Greta was sweating the most. But the nice grooming before (well, I always give her a good currying and once-over with the stiff brush, then the medium brush, then the goat hair brush, so today was nothing new haha) and nice liniment bath afterwards and big flake of hay made up for it all I'm sure.
Our biggest hiccup today though was entirely my fault, and I felt terribly bad. I guess I had begun to slack off towards the end of our ride. Greta would not circle right. I had to actually turn her in a twenty meter circle with the right rein, because it felt Greta was deaf to my leg and seat, and it was frustrating. So we drilled several large right circles (I HATE Endless Circle Torture, and do not use just as a casual workout) at the trot and nothing I was not getting any results, so I brought her to a walk, trying to see at a slower pace what was going on. Get this?
Instead of sitting on my outside seatbone and pushing my inside hip in, I was leaning to the inside and putting my right seatbone on her and my inside hip and my inside leg, so she was only being polite and moving to the left like I was asking most awkwardly. I wasn't balancing her. Boy, did I feel stupid and remorseful. The instant I corrected my silly mistake, she was making right circles and turns like it was not a problem. Bless her, she was only doing what she was told!
So my lesson for today is: if it's not working at the trot or canter, go back to a walk so you actually feel what is going on. I'm so smart haha! And I meant that last statement in the most sarcastic manner....
I love you, Greta!!!