Catch-UpOver the weekend, Lauren and I put in 17 rainy miles on the rail trail (an awesome first rain-test of the Arctic Horse skirt!). It was the first time we'd ridden together in a few months and it was great to get out and catch up. I'm so proud of - and impressed by - how far she's come with her riding abilities and knowledge.
|Rain drenched, sweaty, and itchy from shedding season - not a happy Q mare!
But she did keep up a lovely 8 mph pace for 2+ hours on the rail trail!
It was a great ride and a total non-event for Q. She only led a mile or so, and she didn't spook horribly for any of it. The new "big problem" we have instead of violent spooking is that she gets nervous, quits listening to me, and speeds up. If I can get her to sit down on her hind end, slow down, and settle, she'll come back to me. It's going to take some time and repetition, but she's already showing a lot of promise toward listening better and settling in these moments, and she's checking in with me all the time when she's a follower and not leader! So much positive progress! Now to just put in more time and miles.
Up-ComingAs Lauren's horse continues to have some imbalance issues (really strong on his right side and really weak on his left), I recommended (again) to her parents about getting dressage lessons. It will not only lend suppling exercises to help the horse, but will teach Lauren how to be a better rider who can support MJ through his issues in the future.
Unexpectedly, we quickly put things into motion and got a lesson with the closest instructor to us setup for Wednesday! Like, 2 days from now!
This won't be strictly a dressage lesson though. Our closest instructor is Level 1 Centered Riding instructor - which is flippin' awesome because it's something I wanted to do anyway!
We'll be having one lesson this Wednesday and another in two weeks. From there, we may head to Virginia for lessons at a dressage barn. The way I look at it, the CR lessons will get me tuned up and Lauren clued in so we can get the most from dressage instruction later on. But time will tell! I'm excited no matter what.
And then (because, holy crap there is an "and then"!), on Thursday I'm going to join some members of our local trail riding club taking a lesson with a local natural horsemanship guy. He spends a lot of his time starting youngsters and wild mustangs, so I'm not really sure what I'm going to gain to help toward any competition pursuits, but the price is right (the club is paying for us), so why not?!
Originally, I'd planned to take Griffin to this outing purely so I could get him out and about more, but as we'll have a lesson the night before, I'm leaning toward taking Q instead. There's always more to do with her and she's always better off-property, so it should be fun! Though eventually, I'd like to take Griffin (these lessons will be happening 2x/month through July) so we can make some more connections with cowfolks in our pursuit to do some cutting later this year.
Lots of blog fodder to look forward to in the near future - and I can't wait to share.