Veteran's Day was awesome. I had the day off and went to the ranch early to ride both of my horses. Now with the days so short I rarely get to both in one day.
December - Warmed up at the trot and worked on relaxing into the bit. I'm finally really getting this collection thing and I can feel the difference now. Having December is a blessing. I realized that I've never owned a horse that wasn't totally green and I've never really understood the cues for things like 'shoulders in' because I've been too busy trying to teach them to a horse that doesn't know how to do it. On December I can really play with getting the cues perfect and feeling where my hands and hips should be. I can totally feel it when she gets it right. Oh and lead changes! Wow! She's so light in her movement it's a thing of beauty to ride her lead changes. So after the trot work my sister had brought Promise into the arena to warm him up. I got an e-mail on my Blackberry from work that I had to answer. Promise was being really good and consistant, and Kim was excited which got December a little worked up. I just wanted her to stand still for a few while I responded to the stupid e-mail but she wasn't having it. Kim and Promise were cantering and she wanted to too so she was being all pissy. Finally when I finished Kim asked us to go out around the track in the field behind the arena. I always love going out in the field to change pace a little, however, December decided the other day there is a horse eating monster in the form of a filled black trash bag near the entrance for the field. She went past it reasonably sanely when we started out though and both horses went just fine around the field. When we got back to the area with the trash bag Kim and I were talking about turning based on leg/seat pressure without using much rein. She wanted to see if she could get Promise to take a few steps turning on his haunches. He got a little confused because he still thinks legs only mean go forward faster so when she blocked his forward movement a couple of times he got mad and bolted forward a couple of steps. All-in-all it wasn't a big deal EXCEPT....OMG THAT TRASH BAG MUST HAVE TRIED TO EAT HIM. So I felt December bunch up for some kind of explosion and I swear I thought it was going to be a rear. Nothing scares me more than rearing. So the next thing I know she's standing there with all four feet on the ground and I'm bear-hugging her entire neck while my sister laughs at me. Apparently the terror on my face over the tinest crop hop in the history of the world was incredibly funny. When did I get to be such a chicken?
Tax - I was running late for lunch with my kiddo but I wanted to get Tax ridden before I left. He's like riding a different horse these days. I'm still going to have to post about trying to teach the beast to cancer sometime. So now that I finally got the collection/relaxion thing he really warms up and gets on the bit much faster now then he used to. He's starting to get much lighter and will actually canter instead of a full tilt gallop. We did our trot work and his trot to canter transisitions were amazing. He was right there everytime I asked and light and round. He doesn't hold it long yet but still it's happening. Transisitoning down was even good and he has a bad habit of backing down into the fastest extended trot I've ever ridden and it was taking him forever to go back to relaxed and collected. This time within a few strides (and without any pulling on my part) he was back down to a nice forward but normal trot. Yay! I love this horse. Even if he isn't the world's greatest show horse, he's sweet and honest and has more personality than most people I know. He's also a great cuddler and he's made me take more time to stop for scritches which I'm not always good about. He loves to be in your pocket. I think I found a forever horse.