Monday, August 24, 2009

A Bart Monday

I rode fairly early as I didn't have anywhere to dump manure until someone came to uncouple the bush hog and then hook the spreader back up. So I did the chores, filled a couple wheelbarrows, and then rode. Cheryl rode Casey at the same time.

Bart was a good boy, just pleasant really to be around. I walked him long first a couple times each direction around the entire arena and nothing at all bothered him . . . not the "butterfly end" or the partly mowed dressage arena area or anything. He kinda wanted to walk toward Casey but that was all of his "distraction". Then I put him together and asked him to walk, asking him to shorten and lengthen some, then working in some leg yields. He's really nice on the leg yields.

I did better than last time asking him to trot, in that when I asked he did. Lisa says I over-think it and I think that is especially true in lesson situations -- I want to make it good and I try too hard. So I asked him to trot and he did. We mostly just trotted 20m circles then into circle serpentines (if that term makes sense -- not just doing the serpentine but doing circles to make sure I've got the bend and to steady everything up and make the changes further in between). I very may well not have had him completely on the bit -- I say that because in our lesson Lisa would tell me "He's not on the bit yet" a good bit when I thought he was. And in our trotting yesterday, he was a good bit more forward and energetic than he was in our lesson. I liked that energy and frankly didn't want to bottle it up too much. So it felt like he had good connection but it might not have been "enough". I'm actually glad to get to ride him a bit and then get back to a lesson so that I have some experience to feel from to then draw from in the lesson . . . . He is so nicely sensitive to seat in downward transitions and I thought did them nicely. We didn't work too hard but he had a saddle mark and my legs felt it and we had a lot of fun!

He was going forward so much more nicely than the other times I've ridden him, and personally I think forward is prerequisite for much collection, has to ride into the bridle, etc. Although all of it is always give and take, get a little here then work somewhere else for awhile then come back here again . . . mostly I just thought he felt good. When I was riding him before, and really in my lesson with Lisa too, it was frustrating how little he would GO forward. He's got so much in him and sometimes so little of it comes out. I've wondered if it wouldn't do him good to go gallop some cross country! But on Monday, that's not what I felt from him, that non-forwardness, but a willingness. Yes, I think willingness is the perfect word. And it was very nice.

He did get his tums treats before the ride and a bit of grass after . . .

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