Thursday, April 22, 2010

Playing catch up

It seems like I'm playing catch-up everywhere right now. Work, bills, blogs, even riding. I wasn't doing much of anything for several days after we euthanized Prince, and in fact hadn't done much of anything the previous week either because of the infection in my hand, so now I have lots to catch up on.

I did get out to the barn on Sunday and Monday, but I didn't ride either day. I probably should have, though, because when it came time for my lesson yesterday, I hadn't ridden since my last trail ride, a week before.

It was unfortunate, because it seemed like I needed to ease into riding again. My emotional state is improving every day, but I guess it's still a little bit tenuous, because at one point my trainer started telling me what she wanted me to do in the canter, and at the thought of cantering I just wanted to cry.

Cantering still makes me a little bit nervous, but I've learned to master it so that I just do it as quickly as possible, before I get too worked up about it. Yesterday this obviously wasn't going to work, because I just about fell apart right away.

I told my trainer I wasn't up for cantering, and although I know her personality is much different than mine, she understood and didn't push the issue. Instead we worked on lots of trotting, keeping my heels down, and then toward the end I did take Panama over the poles. He didn't really jump — they were really low, and my trainer said he is learning to conserve energy by only jumping when he actually has to — but my trainer said my position is getting better.

And we did get one little canter in there, as he got excited and cantered after leaving the poles. No big deal, as it turns out!

I probably could have cantered after all, but unfortunately we were out of time, and my trainer had to get going right away. All in all, though, it was just what I needed after the events of last week: A fairly relaxed lesson that moved at my pace.

When we got back outside, this is what we found:

My gelding's girlfriend, waiting for him to come back after a ride

This is the more subdued version of Daisy waiting for Panama to come back. She gets really worked up when I first take him out of the corral, completely with whinnying, pawing, and pacing! Daisy loves Panama, but sometimes I wish she didn't love him quite so much!



At April 22, 2010 at 3:06 PM, Blogger Nuzzling Muzzles said...

What my mother always said to me about cantering is that it is easier to sit through the rocking motion of a canter than the up and down motion of the trot. If you can do the sitting trot, you can canter.

It's kind of like when I was in driver's education I was terrified of getting on the freeway. My instructor said, "It's actually easy driving, because you don't have signs and signals and pedestrians to yield to. You just keep your foot on the gas." He was right for the year 1980 when even the population in our California city was low. However, that would no longer apply to merging from the Spaghetti Bowl in Reno today.

At April 22, 2010 at 5:36 PM, Blogger Sydney said...

What nuzzmuzz said about the sitting trot and canter. Try mastering the sitting trot before looking for a canter. A lot of riders get their horses into a death trot and try to post that just doesn't work the few strides before the canter.

At April 28, 2010 at 5:52 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Thanks for the comments, ladies! I hate the sitting trot, probably because Panama has a very fast trot and I have to really fight him to slow it down very much. I did work on it a little bit today, though, and discovered I'm not as bad as I think IF I can get him to slow down. So far we've been cantering in the two-point, but I know my trainer wants me to try it in a half-seat and start getting accustomed to the rhythm so that I can sit it out.


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