Sunday, March 7, 2010

Catching Up: Rollbacks and Circles

January 17:

We're back at those circles again! Actually, we started out just flexing and relaxing. She has gotten into a habit of moving immediately when I pick up the reins. I need her to flex at the poll, round her back, and wait for me to tell her to move. When she was 'released' she liked to stretch her neck and back; must have felt good to flex and relax over and over!

After our warm up it was time to get to work.Since we have the most problems loping to the right, I thought I would try loping her to the left first, to try and increase her confidence at the lope before we moved to her 'bad' side.

One thing I noted on this ride is that she is now reliably picking up her leads, whether starting from a stand still and moving out straight or staring already in our circle. I have also tried to really keep my body relaxed as I ride. I focus on keeping my hands low, my eyes up, my legs quiet, and my upper body leaned more back than forward. By the end of our left circles she was offering some nice collection and speed control depending on how my body was positioned!

After an amazingly square stop, we took a break... and I got the camera!

Star still wasn't 100% on her left hind, so we worked on bending again and kept it real low key. BTW, those new stirrups are much better than those thin, metal ones. A great purchase for sure!

Then it was time to try the right circles. After checking that we still had flexion and could stand still until told...
... we were off! She felt much more balanced than the last time we had ridden here. But, I still wasn't quite right. I know I put more weight in the left leg than my right. I fix it when I recognize it, but that's usually after the saddle starts to roll... :/ You can see how I am a little unbalanced here, but you can also see that Mercy isn't leaning in or leading with her shoulder!

Once we both got settled into a nice rhythm, I lead her out of the circle to practice rollbacks. Her stops were decently square and it only took a time or two to get an amazing rollback...

...with a lope departure! Awesome job Mercy!

After this photo was taken I got off and TrailridinRN climbed on to cool her out for me while I jumped on Starlett. To be honest, it's weird seeing someone else on my horse, and to be seeing her from a perspective other than riding her myself, lol!

What a cool horse.

1 comment:

Paint Girl said...

Looks like Mercy is doing well!!
I love the wider stirrups. I will never go back to the narrow stirrups again!!