Today is the last day in July, and it kind of feels like the last day of summer. The weather people say we will be getting a cold front today at lunch, which is crazy. Texas isn’t exactly known for having a short summer, and it hasn’t actually been over 100 yet. Maybe we are going to have an early fall? Of course, most people who know me know fall is my favorite season, so I definitely won’t be complaining.
Anyways, we have been crazy busy this summer. You might think summer is a time for relaxing for “full time students,” but its not. We have been working hard to make progress on our research at work and also find time to ride the ponies. I have been working hard teaching my lessons and even helping with summer camp [now that’s a flashback]. Somehow though, I have actually been riding Jellybean very successfully.
Jellybean is mostly at the point where she needs lots of miles. She walk/trots/canters with minimal cues (although I always carry the dressage whip in case she thinks she doesn’t have to). She stops pretty easily and turns ok. She is learning to check things out before she spooks and she is being ridden all over the farm. I want to take her on an off site trail ride as soon as we get the trailers, etc organized. She is still growing, and is currently taller in the back then the front. I really really hope she levels out, but since I have never actually seen her parents, and I have no idea of their breeding its just luck of the draw. Some of her recent achievements: walking over a cross country log, bridling easier, and being ridden bareback around the farm.
Gracie has been showing the most improvement. I took a lesson with Maggie recently, and she helped me figure Gracie out just a bit. I previously attributed Gracies lack of willingness to canter to her lack of strength. She seemed to me like she was having trouble carrying a person in a less collected canter. So Robert tried a few times to get her moving and she became increasingly resistant to the canter. She started throwing small bucks and rears to evade the forward motion. I put a couple of training rides on her, and Robert backed off asking her to canter for a few weeks. Then we went on vacation.
So when Maggie was helping me with Gracie, she was on the ground telling me to push push push her forward. I didn’t bring my stuck-to-the-horse seat that day, and I was having some trouble. So she volunteered to ride her around a bit. And then Gracie was cantering around. We decided that this should be treated more like a sour lesson horse situation then a weakness.
And wow what a change. Riding Gracie carrying a dressage whip is like riding her in another world. She listens and goes forward and canters off without a fit. Go figure. So Robert has been riding her in his lessons and really enjoying his time cantering around. They even jumped some cross country logs the other day!
So now Robert is working on his seat again, and Gracie is being well behaved for the most part! Sounds like a win all around to me 🙂 Anyway, the end of summer is fast approaching and we will be back to teaching and working and trying to fit some riding in. I hope to have more to talk about soon 🙂