I didn't ride between my lesson on Wednesday and Sunday. Partly because I was off doing non-horsey social things. But, mostly because I'm lazy. I could have made it happen if I were more motivated. My husband finally returned home on Saturday night so I dragged him to the barn on Sunday to ride. We waited until late in the evening to go to the barn, but it was still freaking hot, so I didn't ride for very long.
I started by doing trot to halt to trot transitions. At first I was giving Nilla gummy bears as treats when she stopped, but then she decided she didn't like them anymore and starting spitting them out. So I gave up after getting one decent halt.
We did a few rounds of cantering and made it all the way around the arena in each direction. To the left is still a twisted disaster with much tripping and swapping, but there were brief moments of decent canter.
|good moment of canter|
|what most of left lead canter looks like|
Once we got going cantering, she was actually offering to canter, which was really nice. I tried to get her to canter a small crossrail, but she kept coming back to trot to go over the jump. So I had my husband put out a ground pole and we cantered that.
In the past, I have taken horses from never having been ridden before to jumping in weeks. I have never had to spend this much time just getting the basics down. So for everyone reading this who is thinking cantering a pole isn't a big deal: I agree. But for Nilla, it is.
Once she could manage the pole, I asked her to canter the little crossrail and she did it.
Since my husband hasn't been able to really ride much with Shasta on rehab, I had him ride Nilla for a bit. He hasn't ridden her in the arena in months and was really impressed with how much better her canter is.
She did have a moment where the dogs coming down the road spooked her and she tucked and ran with a leap/buck over a manure pile.
Nilla has always wanted to race off with my husband riding. Even when she hated cantering, she would try to do it with him more than me. There's something in the way he rides her that convinces her she should go faster. So he has actually cantered her over jumps before. Even back when I couldn't get her to canter a lap, he could jump her at the canter. It wasn't pretty, but she would do it.
So now that she can canter better, he can really get her around. He cantered her through the little one stride line that was set up.
He was hot too, so neither of us rode for very long. Nilla was only slightly sweaty afterwards despite the heat. With all the endurance we do, she's very fit. She needs a solid hour + to even get tired.
I'm going to keep getting as many jump schools in as I can before the event at the end of September. I don't think we'll be able to make it to BN, but I'd like to canter even if we stay at Intro. I'm thinking about adding an extra dressage test (it's only $15 to add extra tests) and I might do Intro C or Training 1 if we can get canter solidified.
Labels: Mule Riding, Nilla