Sunday, January 10, 2010

All Better!

I decided that tonight was the night to try really riding Pandora again. I was able to touch her ears and her poll all over, including rubbing my fingers over the actual scab from the cut on her poll, without her getting fussy.

So I saddled her up (with my new-to-me Thornhill dressage saddle!) and headed into the arena to bridle her.

It was completely uneventful.

So, that done, I hopped on and rode for about a half hour. The ride was about as bad as the bridling was good, unfortunately. The barn owners have been installing automatic waterers, and the aisle on the far side of the arena had been all dug up and re-filled, so it looked very Different over there. In Pandora's book, when things are Different it is cause for much consternation.

So she was spooky and rushy all down that rail. Under normal circumstances I'd work through it as necessary, but I'm sick and tired, I was trying to finish up so I could do stalls, and Pandora's had a bunch of time off so she was understandably way less focused than usual. I tried for a bit, got frustrated, and decided I was better off to just let it go for the day. We went for a short hack up the road and I called that good.

Tomorrow I'm going to give her a solid workout on the longe, then I'll start riding again on Tuesday. I think I'll take McKinna to my lesson again this week so I don't feel like I'm rushing Pandora into it. That way I can have her going consistently again before I take her to a lesson.

I love my saddle. It is soft and comfortable and wonderful. I'm on the fence about fit for Pandora, but I am very particular about saddle fit, so we'll see. It seems to fit very pretty well, though - I'll take some pictures on Tuesday, maybe.

Tomorrow evening I'm giving a jumping lesson to the barn owner's young daughter. They show Quarter Horses, and she does the Hunter Hack. It should be fun! This is the first jumping lesson I've taught, but I think it's a good starting place. She's pretty young and the stuff we'll be doing will be very laid-back.

I'm planning on starting with several trot poles, then doing trot-poles X, then trot-poles to X to vertical. Maybe a line of two verticals if all else is going well, since that's what is in an actual hunter hack class. I have the rulebook and have been watching AQHA hunter hack videos for the last half hour, too. Not like that makes me an expert hunter trainer, but I feel like I know enough about jumping and teaching to give a useful jumping lesson under these circumstances.

I would really like to get back in the swing of things. It sure seems like between fall term, me being sick, the holidays, the unloading accident, and now me being sick AGAIN, we've had a really hard time settling back into a rhythm. With luck, I'll be over this cold in a couple days and we can start getting serious again. I would like to finally take Pandora to some lessons and clinics.

Oh well. Tomorrow is a new day! With horses and in life, I try to keep in mind a line from a poem by Ellen Kort, which starts with, "Begin. Keep on beginning."

So tomorrow we will begin, and we will keep on beginning.


Sydney said...

This blog
is really great if you are concerned about saddle fitting. Maybe take some pictures and send it thataway.

SprinklerBandit said...

It's a hard time of year to do horse stuff if you don't like in Florida or somewhere else ridiculously temperate.

I don't ency you the colds. Get well soon!

JeniQ said...

I'm glad she's better and now that it's healed she's not foolish about her head. Nothing worse then a headshy horse that's for sure.

Enjoy giving your lesson!

tangerine said...

Some other good ideas for your lesson: Make her count strides to and from the fence, stay in two point while counting x strides to and away, make sure eyes are up, riding straight to and from the fence, releasing well. Depending on the horse (I'm guessing since this one is a child's hunter it will be fine) and rider confidence, you could always have her knot her reins and jump a grid with no hands. I love doing that one to regain my independent seat/upper body.

So glad to hear she's doing better! Injuries are the worst! Keep on keepin' on and I'm sure she'll get right back into the swing of things.

manymisadventures said...

I have ridden in the saddle a couple more times and definitely like the fit. I think I'll like it even more as Pandora builds up topline!

Thanks for the ideas, tangerine! I don't think they're quite to the point of jumping grids with no hands yet, but I used some out-loud counting in the lesson and it worked wonders. I'll continue to do it in the future since it seems so effective - actually, *I* should probably be using that in my schooling.. :-)

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