Whoa, That is What a Lengthening Feels Like?

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No, there are no new photos or videos of today’s ride.  The camera stayed in the car; probably a good thing since, yet again, a thunderstorm showed up at the end of my lesson.  Still trying to figure out how I pissed off Mother Nature enough that she’s decided that it should rain almost every time my butt hits the saddle.  I’m predicting a tropical storm or hurricane September 7th and 8th when I try for the last time to get my qualifying score.

For the 45 rain-free minutes of my lesson, Ike was a stellar pupil.  We are continuing to challenge him beyond the Training Level skill set we need for competition.  Why stagnate when there is no reason?  Are we ready to show First or Second Level?  Oh no!  But we will never be ready to compete at those levels if we don’t take the first steps to learning the new skills we will need.

Today’s lesson started with shoulder in to haunches in while tracking in both directions.  I found that shoulder in to the left is easier to the right, but I can more easily move Ike’s haunch to the right.  Go figure.  It is also a challenge to keep the giraffe neck and body in the correct alignment.  How easy it is to overbend that neck…especially for the girl who loves her inside rein a bit too much (I’m a work in progress).

This collected work helped to set up some lovely canter work.  Ike can still get a bit too strong in the hand with the canter.  Speed Racer made an appearance yesterday – no delicate half halt was going to slow down the boy yesterday.  Thank goodness we had none of that today as we worked on trot-canter-trot transitions on a circle.  Ms. C then had us feed off to a trot down the long side of the arena with me asking for the next trot gear.  We knew there was another gear lurking about and today, we found it.  I half halted and rebalanced on the short end and then with the gentlest squeeze of my fingers, I offered my hands forward and POW! the next trot gear revealed itself.  It felt like we were floating on air down the long side.  I honestly squealed with excitement.  Ms. C let us know that we’d found our trot lengthening.  Ah, said the blind girl.  Ohh dear, said the girl who realized she will have to sit that trot at second level.

We managed to again find that fabulous trot in the other direction right before the thunder rumbled and reminded us that we should seek cover.  We finished with a few circles of stretch down walk and trot and quickly headed to the barn.

Ike and I are still in the infancy of our journey, but it is gearing up to be a heck of a ride.  Now time to do some core work so I can keep up with my horse!

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