I knew I was out of town a lot this past month, so I wouldn't ride much. I was right, I rode very little. I haven't ridden more than 1 or 2 times a week for the past month. I was going to try to go to a small hunter show that was Nov 2, unfortunately while Mia is down for jumping all the things, the rust was too great to squeak out a decent hunter round so I didn't go. Things like half halts, balanced jumps, not rushing, and staying collected were no where near what a hunter show would require and I felt no need to spend almost $60 and a half of a day to go to a show when we were so ill prepared.
After that, I went on a road trip to TX for a full week. To clarify, we drove to TX and THEN went on a road trip. I had originally planned on flying down and participating but forgot to book tickets the day I looked them up. When I looked a couple of months later, prices had tripled and was out of budget so joined the drive down to TX, then did the road trip, then drove back. Dude. 6042 miles in 8 days. 12-16 hour days of driving in a vehicle that only comfortably goes 65mph, averaged 700 miles per day, with 3 people in a van with 2 seats. I was so done and over with the damn trip by the time we got back, I told SO never again. That amount of driving is well outside of the realm of "tolerating fun", I think it would be been okay enough of if I had flown down and back but to drive the whole thing? Nope. No way.
After we got back, our 13.5yr old German Shepherd died. We've been expecting it for a while, but for her to actually pass away hit me a lot harder than I expected. She was ridiculously healthy for being as old as she was, which is a testament to our care and her breeding. I really tried to do everything for her, and went well beyond what most would have done with the issues she had. It is an end of an era, as we are taking a break from dogs for a while. I've had a dog nonstop since 2004, and had a dog (but at my mom's) since I was a young teenager. It's weird not having a dog around. When we do end up with another, it will be a smaller dog than a 75lb dog and not one who sheds so much they explode. So last weekend we gathered up the dog beds (much to the dismay of the cats who claimed them as theirs), food, treats, toys, etc and donated them to a rescue. I wanted to make sure other dogs were helped even if we didn't take a dog on right way. When the universe thinks it is time, it will drop another dog in our lap. That's how it has always worked.
I finally started riding again. Last week I rode 3x. The rides are pretty light, as neither of us are in a shape other than round. It is a lot of reminding Mia that we are still under Operation "We are responsible for our haunches, and they belong behind us!". I did buy bigger spurs, I have little half inch nubbins and she was not actually moving off of my leg. I now have 1.5" knobs and it was amazing to feel the difference, once I actually noticed the difference. Her "moving off of my leg" in the canter before still left her haunches in. I can now actually get her to move her haunches behind her now.
While she is doing it, Mia is having incredible difficulty in cantering with her haunches behind her/haunches out. She is using all kind of evasion techniques, from running, to not cantering, to cantering sideways, to being ridiculously inverted, just by asking her to move her haunches behind her. I know it is a process, and I am not going to be super concerned with correcting every evasion until a month or so of building new muscle, but our nice collected canter is not to be found the second I ask her to put the haunches behind her lol.
Finally, I do have a lead on some possible lessons, actual, real life lessons. I am going to talk to the lady tonight and see if we can get something scheduled. I am excited, I know we will make so much more progress with the canter with some eyes on the ground, even if it is to babysit my behind and remind me to stop doing stupid stuff. Fingers crossed, it may be approaching winter but I'm ready to ride again!