Wow I am so behind on our stories! Riding everyday though and the advancement that it feels like Aly and I have had with those days is hard to keep up with! I remember after looking at the horrific pictures from the first day of riding, I thought I HAVE to work on just sitting straight and keeping my head up! And I did somewhat, then the next day, ugh that head still needs to come up and stay straight a lot. Then yesterday, when I looked at the pictures from the day before, I saw that from my shoulders to my hands was a straight downward sloping curve. Not good! I can hear you right now saying “Bend those elbows, keep your hands up, don’t bend your wrists”.
So, the next day, the elbows got worked on some, and I think I saw improvement in them in the pictures yesterday. Also yesterday, first trot poles, that was exciting for me haha, even though trot poles aren’t normally that exciting, Aly’s trotting anything is pretty exciting. As I said, riding his regular trot made me pretty astonished, so putting those poles under there really takes some good riding to sit through that and be one with the horse. I want to work on that some more soon.
Then today, when we did the lateral work, even though Aly wasn’t paying attention at first, I was really proud of him afterwards, because I know I must have been a nightmare for him trying to decipher my cues, because I was trying to think of keeping seat, hands, head, all good and keep his head working, and then give the cues for crossing over at the right time. I was thinking about it after I was done riding, and the time that I walked best down the middle of the arena, it felt almost like when you have a bottle on top of a vitamin case that you have to push down to be able to turn it; I know this is a really weird description, but when I was walking down, and you were saying “Good! Remember how this feels so you can do it again.” I remember trying to imprint the feeling in my mind, and my seat was almost pushing down, and then the foot kicking, as I was pushing down with my seat and putting my weight in stirrup, was pushing him over, off my leg. That was such a convoluted explanation it probably is about as clear as mud, but I thought I might tell you that thought I had in mind to see what you thought of it, and if it seems to make sense, maybe it might help others work on the lateral movement.
This time here with Aly is incredible, and invaluable. I am so excited for when we get him home, and he has had time to get used to his new surroundings for a bit, to work with him again. It will be like night and day, having worked with him here compared to if I were getting on him as a total stranger at home.
Also, for the record, as seems very fitting to me, since he is from Bits & Bytes Farm, Aly has been properly desensitized to laptops! The other night I took mine out there to work on homework a bit, and although I didn’t get much work done, I did get some done with Aly!
When I sat down beside his stall and opened the laptop, boy did his nostrils flare! But after I let him do the slow and easy sniff check and talked to him all the while of course, he seemed to give his approval that I could handle it without his being alarmed. I know all the trainers are always saying to take every opportunity to train and desensitize the horses, but I bet even most of them might be surprised at this one!
Keep an eye out for us, we’re heading for a canter here very soon!
Aly and Alex