Thursday, August 6, 2009

Reining and Relaxation

On Monday, Mercy and I headed over to a friend's outdoor arena to prepare for our upcoming reining show! Magical things happen for us over there every time we go. Neither of us have to work very hard to do our best. I started out just asking Mercy to collect and shape up at the walk. Once that came easily, we started trotting some nice large circles. After we were both loosened up and listening to each other, we worked on our loping. I had to stop her once for taking the wrong lead, but she picked it up when we started again. I feel like I am really pulling hard on her to prevent her from speeding up, but she also needs to know how to give to the bit even at the lope. I tried adding more leg to encourage her to move into the bit, which eventually worked for a stride or two. When I asked her to stop in the dead center of the arena, I tried making sure her body was straight, and not curved into the circle, before asking her to stop.

After we both aired up (it's been a while since I have loped for so long, lol!!!) we loped to the other direction. Going to the left was much easier for us, thank goodness! Since she was doing so good I practiced making the large fast more prominent than the slow small circles. After airing up again, we loped to the right one more time. Once we stopped we immediately went into some nice solid spins. They weren't fast, but that's not what I was looking for. I want them to be correct, with the inside hind foot planted and the fronts stepping over in front.
We ended the evening ride practicing some 'sliding stops.' In reality, since she is NOT ready for that, and is not shod properly for it. So we worked on stopping square and deep at the walk and trot. It only took twice at the walk and once at the trot and she gave me a nice deep stop, immediately backing up after it was completed! I jumped off and kissed her on the nose.

Then, today, we went for a short relaxing ride. It was brisk her this morning, so I was sure she would be 'up,' but she was lazy, lazy, lazy. That's odd too, because Star ponied with us. Oh well, it's nice to meander sometimes. Here are some pics I took from our ride this morning:

Leaves?!? On the ground already!?!: *sigh*
Even the Scotch Broom that I was complaining about this spring isn't making it:And I have NEVER seen this before. I don't think you can pass by a tree out in the trails that aren't turning brown/red and loosing needles right now:
Things are getting browner, not "fall"ier in color:

Washington's beautiful Vine Maples aren't going to get a chance to turn glowing red or yellow this year if the leaves keep dying: :'(


Paint Girl said...

So glad to hear that Mercy did so well for you! Nothing better than a relaxing ride in the trees! I am also starting to wonder about all the "dead" stuff going on. It is so dry!!

M. said...

Oh Sprat, I got sucked in. I have a blog now too. What is this world coming to?