Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy 4th of July!

A lot has gone on since I last wrote. We started working in a double bridle again, which Mikey doesn't care for because there's no escaping it, so he started quitting on me. My trainer took him for a few days... When the work gets harder he either has major tantrums or shuts down, and it's sometimes past my ability to get moving properly again. When she had him she spent a lot of time getting him tuned into the leg and seat, and getting him super sensitive to the rider. I got him back, and it's like learning to ride all over again. I completely understand why he needs to respond to a whisper from the leg, that's how we're going to keep moving up and doing the harder work. However, I have to learn to be a more quiet rider, and give clearer signals. I'm working on it, tuning Mikey back into me, and I'm having a lot of success at walk and trot. I have a lot of trouble separating my hips bones and engaging only one. That works just fine in the low gaits, but I have trouble in the canter, which is part of the reason I'm having trouble with the changes, I can't influence him the way I need to. I'm working it out, and Mikey tells me very loudly when I'm wrong (ie tantrum, threatening to rear etc). But that's where I'm at.

So we're working in the double bridle (on serious work rides only, walks and easy working days we're using the mullen mouth and micklem), cleaning up the changes, polishing the half passes, and praying that the mediums don't fall apart any more than they already have. I also got a new pair of dress boots since my tall boots are almost 5 years old and the softest, most comfortable boots ever. They also offer very little support, have dropped considerably, are field boots, and are too short/out of style. Not that style matters for us. But if I was going to replace them, I'd replace them correctly. I've got nice bruises on the back of my knees from them. They are super stiff, and need a little getting used to, but they force my leg to be long and quiet.

I sent in my entry for the next show a week or so ago, we're going to do 3rd 1 and 3rd 3. We're not quite ready, the changes will still be tense and medium/extended not where they need to be, but hell, go big or go home!

Walking back to his field, bareback and in a halter, after a trail ride that wandered around the farm.

Out in the new fields. There's four in the front field (Mikey's on the left in the white mask), and six in the back.
Mikey is gaining weight and filling out a bit more eating the grass in the hay fields!

Mikey and Chicka. Whoda is the gray in the top corner.

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