Things are finally starting to go right in my riding world. Though without a lot of time, and it being late, I feel this post is a little scattered. So, my apologies? But the weather is staying above 15 degrees, the arena is finally NICE and I (mostly) have time to ride (current week excluded)! We have worked exclusively on long and low, getting Mia to lift her back and really work on some fitness for both of us. I have even been doing some workouts at lunch, though not as regularly as I should be. *eyeroll at myself* These types of rides are cool, but don't give a lot to talk about in blogger world.
We start our rides with a stretchy walk, really marching forward and trying to get Mia to stretch down. I try to keep her in a shoulder in position, sometimes I succeed, sometimes not because I am not working hard at it as I am more concerned with her staying long and low. After a few laps each direction, 10 mins or so, we pick up the trot and I really ask for the stretch down. The lower the better, peanut rolling if she could do it. Which she can't. I am able to keep the shoulder in here and at this point, we usually start doing some 3, 4 and 5 loop serpentines. Ride shoulder in, ride the turn, straighten for a step, shoulder in the opposite direction, ride the turn, straighten, shoulder in the opposite direction, wash, rinse, repeat. Also throw in some 10m circles, lots of changes of direction, and am really focusing to keep Mia's tempo and connection the same throughout. We both have been doing really good at this!
From here, I mix it up. We always work on trot adjustability, though one night I really pushed harder. We were able to get slow trot, working trot and even a true extended trot (without a change of pace!) all with seat and leg cues. That was a cool night, but she needs lots of trot transitions before she can do that because otherwise she just goes faster. She usually just goes faster. Another night we worked on half pass vs leg yield, a half pass is harder of course. One night she had just so much energy, I let her go. She galloped around 5 or 6 laps before she brought herself back to a canter. I really think she fully enjoyed that opportunity. We do some canter, working at shoulder in, and also a nice stretchy canter where she is still carrying herself and not plowing onto her forehand. So much progress is being made! On Saturday I even rode in my jumping saddle for the first time since October, let's just say my muscle fitness is non-existent in that saddle. More work is needed for certain.
This week is really a bust in riding. Yesterday we got 6.5 inches of snow. Today was 12 degrees and I had a ton of stuff to do at the barn that was not riding. Supplement bags, dewormer, Pentasan shots, thrush treatments, blanket changes, not enough time and just too cold. Tomorrow I have to bring my cat to the vet and Wednesday I have a dentist appointment on top of the additional 5-8 inches of snow that is supposed to show up. Oh joy. That's okay, one doesn't get fit in a day and we have a good 2 months to work on it. We do have a lesson scheduled for March 24th, I am super excited to have a goal to work towards. I want to be fit for that lesson, being able to ride in both saddles and be jumping by then. I work better with goals so one is now firmly in place. Time to get into a shape that isn't round!