I have ridden the TWH a couple of times these past 2 weeks and man, he is rusty but he is trying really hard and he isn't nearly as bad as I expected. His canter/trot transitions are still there! We are working on getting the trot more balanced so we can start doing random 10m circles with balance and I am really, really working on trying to ride with a shorter rein. It is SO hard because the TWH is SO much better on a longer rein. But if I want to move up a level, I really need to put my big girl panties on and shorten, shorten, shorten. It will only happen through practice, I gotta get going!
I pulled out my 2013 show schedule and started to update it with the 2014 schedule, about a quarter of the places haven't posted their season yet but that is okay. I got the first 3 shows penciled in, I can't believe the first show is in 2 months! As of right now my first show is April 13th. We will see if I get to go and am ready but that is the plan.
With that in mind I realized I haven't jumped a horse since September. At all. Such a slacker I am! I tried putting the TWH's girth on Mia and it was a no-go. His biggest girth is his show girth (which is a smidge too big) and is a 48". Dang! So I hopped online and started my searches and finally found a 54" Ovation girth within my budget and quickly bought it. It came yesterday so of course I had to hop on Mia and see how it rode. I had to use my new Mattes half pad to shim up the rear of my saddle, it is a little low on the TWH but is really low on Mia. Luckily though I did get that cool new half pad so less than 5 minutes later I was tacked up and ready to go.
I started at the walk, giving her a chance to feel my new weight distribution and feeling what my cues felt like with a shorter stirrup. She did really well at the walk, at the trot she had a harder time keeping the same pace when I would alternate between a rising trot and two point but was doing well by the end of the ride. She had a quicker tempo when I was in two point but I think a little more time for her to become accustomed to two point will fix that issue. We then worked on the canter and I have to say, I am really liking her left lead canter. I was able to let her have her head 75% of the time and we cantered on a nice loose rein. I think she really enjoyed me being in two point and off of her back, she seemed to move really well. The right lead wasn't great but it is definitely getting better! She didn't have any kick/buckiness about her, she didn't immediately dive into the center of the circle or pull any serious antics. Progress indeed! It was a pretty forward canter and it was fairly unbalanced but I kept pulling her back to where I wanted her and then letting her carry herself for a couple of strides and I think it is helping. Yay us!
Another ride or two in the jumping saddle and then it is time to put her over some poles, let's figure out how to jump this beast!