What a vacation. SO and I went to Vegas for Christmas and had a wonderful time. We went to the Grand Canyon, Death Valley and had a private meet and greet with Penn and Teller. I caught some ebolswinedeath flucough thanks to some guy on the way down to Vegas and spent the last 2 days in Vegas in misery but refused to slow down or go to a doc because, come on, VEGAS! I don't have time to be sick in Vegas! It has been over a week and a half since this nagging, painful cough showed up and it is JUST NOW going away. I finally stopped chugging Robatussin on Sunday and I can breathe now at least.
When I got back from vacation last Tuesday, I had a lesson scheduled for Friday. It was to be the last one before M went to Ocala for the winter (Jealous!!!!!!) so my lessons are to be put on hold for a few months. I rested on Wednesday because, come on, my body gave me no other option. I finally rode Thursday night and just could not do it. Anytime I picked up a trot, and even at a walk, and took in a semi-deep breath I would double over coughing terribly. It was horrible and I cut our ride down to about 15 mins at mostly a walk. I called M and told her the news and offered to have her give Mia a training ride instead of my lesson. She was actually happy to cancel because things were getting crazy in her preparation to go to Ocala and not giving a lesson would free up her time considerably. As such, I had no last lesson :(
Saturday I rode around the block with K and it confirmed that I made the right choice in cancelling the lesson. By Sunday I could take normal breaths without coughing my lungs up. Progress! I rode last night and it was the last ride until at least Sunday as my basic requirement for riding isn't being met. That requirement? It needs to be at least 10 degrees outside. The HIGH for the next 2 days? A whopping 9 degrees. Then 14 degrees. Yeah, basic requirements are not being met. Sunday is looking promising though, it should get all the way up to 21! *le sigh* winter problems. The horses are all snug in blankets and are parked in front of hay nets in the arena, they seem warm enough anyway.
Riding Mia is becoming more and more interesting since I started these lessons. I am working really hard at taking the information I learned from my three lessons and applying them to my riding instead of falling back into old habits. Things I have learned?
1. Stop blocking with my right hand.
2. Stop staying behind the motion in the trot
3. Stretch myself down and also up as we prep and then go through a turn
4. Stop pulling/riding backwards
5. Allow Mia to stretch down and forward in all gaits as long as she stays consistent and soft
6. Stop blocking with my right (everything)
7. Stop pulling with my right hand
8. Longer stirrups are a must
9. Work on the trot and eventually the canter will come
10. Stop blocking with my right (everything)!!!
My right everything is too blocked. Apparently I pull backwards with my right hand, block with my right arm, am too stiff in my right hip/leg and even look too much to the right. Damn being a strong right kind of person. My last 2 rides have been really good though, despite face hurting cold, in that Mia is starting to almost immediately stretch forward and down into the contact. When, of course, I don't grab her and pull backwards. Her walk has already improved, typically she has to warm up before she relaxes her walk and now she has a nice swinging walk almost immediately. Yay! At this rate, I would expect her to start giving it to me right away if I keep this up because apparently it was me and not her. Go figure lol
We have plenty of homework to work on while M enjoys the weather of FL, she is supposed to come back up in a month or so to give a couple of lessons so she said she would let me know and I could trailer to her place. So that is good. Hopefully she will see changes by the next visit.
My goals for this year? Fix my problems with my right side so I can ride better. Get Mia finally consistent in the bridle once and for all. Get Mia over lots of stadium jumps, preferably over some small courses either at home, away or both. Get Mia ready to go *gasp* Novice level, I don't think she needs to stay at Beginner Novice this year since she drags me to the XC jumps and it is the stadium jumps she has issues with. I am going to refer to M (or her daughter B who is also a very accomplished eventer) but she seemed to agree when I talked to her about it. I want K to successfully show TWH in the starter level and I will give her lessons to help get her there. Ideally, I want App to get back into full time work which shouldn't be too hard since I now have a full time rider for TWH. Will I achieve my goals? I think so, I hope so. Here is to 2015, let's make it better than 2013 lol! Maybe even better than 2014!!