Bad Linda. I missed posting about last week, and now just about all I can remember is that I rode Sammy and he (as usual) got really frisky when we did the cantering because it was an exercise were we did the transitions in the same spots each lap. I think I was fairly pleased with the overall result, though.
I am also going to have to keep this weeks posting fairly short and sweet, because my arm is very strained from the work I’ve had this week. I was back on Murphy again, but unfortunately it was because Sammy had injured himself. He had both front legs wrapped and a small cut on the left. He’d apparently come in hurt from the field, though our instructor hadn’t been around just then so she wasn’t sure how bad it was. I hope it isn’t too bad, since he’s getting on in years. I made sure to give him some extra treats and petting, but he did look a bit bothered by one of the legs at least.
Murphy was, once again, in stubborn pony mode. He tried all sorts of evasions with me to start, though it actually made sure to remind me to ride him with fairly high demands right off, so in a sense that was just good. I think this was probably the most ‘tough’ I have been during a regular lesson, and it really paid off. I informed him I wanted him to work, and soon enough he was working. That is, as long as I kept after him. He was very quick to slip into contrary mode, even though he clearly enjoyed the work.
I managed to get some fairly good trot on my own, especially once I removed my stirrups after the warm-up was done, and then with some help in the canter it came out nicely too. The transitions to canter actually worked pretty darn well right off (I do so much better without my stirrups), but the transitions from canter were more of the ‘falling into trot’ kind. So I was told to ask for more work in the transition, and to just lay my whip against his outer hindleg during the transition to get it more under him. It made quite a difference. It still came out a bit ‘rough’, because Murphy’s coordination isn’t great, but at least he retained momentum and hindleg activity.
On the whole, being more decisive and a bit ‘tougher’ right off paid off, and for the most part Murphy had fun too. I just wish I could ride all horses without stirrups for a while, because it makes a big difference. Of course, then I’ll probably forget how to use stirrups, which might not be so good.