I rode at CARA late this afternoon, after school. At first I wasn’t going to ride this week, but then the thought of not riding for another week was too much for me and I went anyway. This time I went to practice and not have a lesson. I needed time to process what I’ve been learning, think about it while putting it into practice. It turned out to be a good choice.
I got Inky out of her stall about 5 o’clock. I felt bad because she was happily munching on some hay, and I interrupted that. I could hear her thinking, “I knew it was too good to be true that that girl didn’t show up to ride yesterday morning! Here she is now, and probably going to make me work again!” Which was true.
I groomed and tacked her, then led her out to the covered dressage arena. Dorie was working with another student, but I was able to ride at one end of the arena. I also had to stay out of the way of the other girl, who was working on a dressage test. Dorie was cueing her where to ride by calling out the letters placed around the arena. I thought that looked fun, and I wished I could do that, too. But I was there for a reason, and that reason was to practice what I have been learning at my lessons with Dorie.
To make a long story short, I worked on collecting Inky and keeping her “in my hands” where she was supposed to be. We also worked on bending – she was bending her body as I cued her, and I was working on cueing her properly. I thought it was a great session, and I worked for the whole hour that I had her. I was so elated, feeling like I had made a lot of progress. Poor Inky was tired by the end, and I made sure I cooled her down properly.
Inky: Hurry up and give me my bath. And put that damn camera away!
Of course she got her favorite thing: a bath while standing in the wash rack. She drank from the hose again, which I was glad of because I was worried that she was getting dehydrated. Then I put her back in her stall, put her fly mask on again, and left her to resume munching on the hay.
I thought she was happy, though, while we were working. She did everything willingly, and tried her best to do the moves I was asking for. And, she was much better about staying collected as I worked mostly on the sitting trot. I am learning, too, because that is one thing I don’t have a lot of experience with. I’ve always ridden the rising trot (posting).
Next week I will do a lesson, but I think I will try alternating one week having a lesson with one week of practice. I think it will be the best way for me to practice – and learn.