Go Harley , Go!

Victoria, TX(Zone 9b)

=) Obviously the physical therapy helped, but the equine therapy is doing me even better. Mentally, I'm back on my A-game. I've worked with Harley for 5 days straight now, day 6 coming tonight, and then we will both get a well earned day of rest on Wednesday. =) I think... Depends on some other evening scheduling activities. If I don't make it to church band activities, I'll probably try to take him on a resting walk down the road or around the house a bit.

I have a friend urging me to register for an open show, as a goof off day. Ride western walk/trot, completely admit we will be dead last, but attend for a few reasons. First, get out of the back yard, and see new places - the competition plan for Harley this year has changed dramatically. Last year, I hoped this fall he would see a HDS Green As Grass test or two, and maybe an Intro ride. Now, I'll just be happy if we travel to a few locations and school. Friend says, "Go to the Open Show. Ride around the people and their horses. See the arena, ride through the boogers. Ride western, hang on if you need to, but just ride. And if you're driving that far, why not get some judge time? Plan on not earning the blues, but getting out and doing something. Go see how great Harley can be in that atmosphere." Secondly, it would be an opportunity to ride in my 'security saddle', rather than have my first competition show jitters in my dressage seat (and yes, I've put a grab strap on my dressage saddle... I really don't want to have to use it just yet, I don't know if my balance and strength are there enough to react fast enough).

So, I have a goal of sorts. The plan this week, is to ride like I've been, train the things I've been training, but just see how my endurance can hold up, and how mentally relaxed I am. I have learned lately to let him go at the trot, and holy crap. I've also been blessed with Harley, and lately I've seen how much. The trot work I've been so happy with all this time from the accident to now? He's been nearly jogging, barely making a solid stride, and staying ridiculously steady. When I rested my inside leg on him lightly, he started to trot out, but even then didn't stay there more than a dozen strides, before easing up again. After three days straight trotting up big, he is covering some serious ground. His trot feels about > < That close to a canter, as if he could spring into it at any moment. ANY moment... What a neat feeling.

Such a little guy, Harley is an entire hand shorter than Ransom (if not more). Such a HUGE trot stride, by far the largest and most floaty I have ever ridden. What a sheltered life I've had, eh? All you DQs are probably snickering.. "She's been riding wimpy horses with little movement..." Yup! =) And apparently based on my last year's scores, doing good at it as well. Now, it's time for the big deal.. .the HUGE trot stride, that, if I can get a little give to the bit, ought to bring us 8s super easily...

We're challenged in the effort to find "give to contact" at the walk. At trot, I added light contact yesterday, and as soon as he lowered his neck and head, I released entirely. Don't know if he learned anything from it.. I have so much more to concentrate on at the trot... At the walk, he just doesn't seem to be getting it. His walk is lazy all on its own, and he sure would prefer I go loose rein and stay out of his way. It'll make our free walk scores great... Working walk, not so much.

Anyways, that's new with me. Who else is riding? What are you working on? What is going great, and what are you struggling with?

(If you're battling snow and ice... I'm sorry.... you can shove your weather in my face when it's July here, and over 100F everyday, when it's TOO hot to ride, and I'm stuck inside watching bugs multiply)

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