I am very thankful that after 3 days of over 40c, the weather has cooled off a little. It’s still hot but it’s more bearable and so I am able to ride a bit more. The stop start work Henry has been in has highlighted a few things to me though and these issues are causing me a bit of frustration at myself!
The weather has meant I haven’t been riding at all and so neither horses are in any sort of routine. When I do ride it’s usually early before work and Henry has been fresh. Henry is still on his full amount of feed and it shows, he just wants to canter. Riding in the morning means he come straight out of his yard and bursting full of energy plus because it’s not the usual routine he’s a bit on his toes anyway. On the bright side he feels good and he does just get on with work unlike last year where he was a lot less happy to be ridden in the morning.
Monday Henry was fresh after having 5 days off and all he wanted to do was plough forward on the forehand and canter. Tuesdays ride started out a lot better, he was soft and supple in the walk and trot, did some nice lateral work and had good transitions. In canter though things fell apart and after we cantered all he then wanted to do was canter.
Our weaknesses feel highlighted because both of us have had plenty of time to rest, and are probably both a bit weak. Henry leans on the right rein and I pull on the right rein. Henry also falls out through that shoulder and he is super crooked through his body. On the plus side he has been really in front of my leg and light off the aides.
Today I got super frustrated during my ride at just not being able to fix the issues. They aren’t new issues but I just rode around and didn’t do anything effective, despite trying to do something. For my next ride I need to go armed with some exercises to fix these things so I have something to work towards rather than just riding a bit aimlessly and praying things get better. I think my brain must be on holiday somewhere because I seem to be struggling to find the right tools to help these issues. I have the tools, I’m just not employing them.
So as a way forward I am going to plan out my rides a bit more and focus on our weak areas. I also need to remind myself that my main project for the summer is to get both horses strong and fit (pole work and hill walking required!) and to jump Henry over as much weird shit as possible.
Thankfully we should have a lesson this weekend and I can get a bit of help,. It will be blindingly obvious when I do! Until then I am going to reread all my lesson posts and plan my rides out a bit more. This summer has me feeling a bit aimless without anything set to work towards. I’m someone who needs a clear way forward otherwise I just kinda piss fart around not doing anything of much use. Now I just need to find some motivation to work Coolie and then I’ll have solved all my horsey issues!