Thursday, January 12, 2012

Bad Weather! As in Bad Santa...

What is with the weather?  Doesn't Mother Nature know I have plans and she's wreaking havoc on them!

It seems it's been either raining or freezing cold with a nice day or two thrown in between the two.  And it seems I'm not able to ride on the nice days for whatever reason.  Guess I'm going to have to suck it up and start riding in the cold...

Moving on or should I say getting back to the horse and the ride.  I did indeed get a chance to ride today - yay!  Charlie was pretty good although very heavy on the left rein.  I'm thinking that translates into not enough left leg from me.  Unfortunately by the time I figured out he was really heavy, my left arm was done.  I think I lost feeling in my left fingers...just kidding!  Well, sort of.  Even though I'm left handed, I tend to be weaker on my left side and do all sorts of funny things to compensate like collapse through my ribcage (what I think this is going to accomplish, I have no idea) and shorten my left leg (again, what's this supposed to do?).  I really need to focus on lengthening my leg and using all of it, not just my heel digging annoyingly into his side - he doesn't like this, go figure! This should help encourage him to step under himself and be better balanced going to the left.  I also need to really focus on staying in the center and not collapsing - this just throws him off balance and makes it even harder for him to do the right thing.

It was pretty wet in the ring because of all the recent rain so I only rode for about 25 minutes and then we went on a 15 minute walkabout the property.  Charlie doesn't really like to walk in a frame - he gets short and fussy in his face so I use the walkabouts to try to encourage him to walk in a frame.  Because he's outside of the ring, he's more relaxed and starts to stretch down to the bit.  His walk is his weakest gait and that mystifies me - I think the walk should be the easiest!  Hoping to get a dressage lesson in the near future to see what else I can do help him relax and maintain a frame.  More on that later!

Cross country schooling at Jumping Branch on Saturday - yay!  Going to Aiken with my regular coach, J.  Should be fun - hopefully I'll live to tell about it!  I'm a bit embarrassed to bring Charlie out in public as his right bum looks like this

I hate rain rot!  Poor Charlie has had more MTG baths than I can count!  I think it's a bit bizarre to have a horse that smells like bacon grease but it seems to be working.  He only got caught out in the rain once because his raincoat was no longer rain proof and this is what happens.  If someone had told me how sensitive chestnuts were...

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