Saturday, 17 November 2012

First "attempt" at the big D

So last night we had an impromptu ride at the arena.  My friend P sent me a text saying she had the arena booked, and if I wanted to join? Of course!  So off I went to the barn right after work.  I was off work at 5:20pm and it was pitch black outside.  Gotta love living way up north... I can't wait until the solstice when the days start getting longer again.  Either way, I was off and heading to the barn to pick up my boy and head out.  The BO decided she wanted to come and brought her younger (but much more level-headed) gelding to come this time.  The BO and I have a system for setting out together now.  She gets the trailer, I catch the horses.  She will load them as I transfer my tack to her truck, then off we go!
As we were pulling out of the drive way (snow covered, we have even more of it now...) the trailer was a bit slippy.  I didn't think much of it as it was snowing and a touch icy in some spots.  During the drive there were a few more slippy spots, and as we pulled up around the arena, it was very bad.  I hop out thanking my lucky stars that the BO was hauling (she has no fear, she's hauled through everything).  As we got out she had a grim look on  her face.  Uh oh... not good.  We go to the back of the trailer, and yup, low and behold, one of the tires was flat.
Again, lucky for us, the trailer itself was fine, no one was hurt, and my friend P brought her 3-horse trailer so she could get us home.  The BO took her rig to her friend's place (close by) to have it fixed and to defrost a bit as well in their heated shop.

Well, after that, it was a bit like "well, we're here, let's do this" kind of thing.  I had planned a dressage school, yet had forgotten my dressage whip (with Koda, it's a helpful tool sometimes) plus I hadn't ridden at dressage length stirrups for a while, so it was going to be a bit interesting.  I really should have started doing our warm-up with no stirrups to get my leg draped down properly, but ah well.  We did some warm up, he was being a turkey about the corners again, and was just having a more... arabian day than usual.  Most people don't believe me when I say Koda is half arab, he's a fairly cool and sensible dude... except when he's not.  This boy can pull the diva when he wants to and last night was one of those nights.  After we settled down a bit, I tried a dressage test (for the Canucks, Entry Test 2).  Here are the better bits.  Please keep in mind, I haven't really been working on dressage with Koda that much (should do more) and we were both all over the place.

Here is the better half of the test:

And here is where it goes off.  For some reason, our left lead canter has disappeared!  I'm sure its a pilot error, not holding the bend when I ask or not having the bend at all, so will work on this in the future.

The test was ok for a first shot, but I really want him to relax more into the work.  We're looking at doing fairly basic tests, but we need to work on our connection, relaxation, and that good ol' training pyramid.  Koda has never had to deal with contact or carrying himself properly, so we'll be focusing on that.  Taking a little tip from another blogger, I may try vienna reins on the lunge with him for a short bit to see if that helps him understand what I'm asking for under-saddle.  After the attempt at the test we did some canter figure eights with simple changes, and with some thinking on my part, we had an ok/decent one by the end of it.

I am extremely happy and lucky to have friends that are determined to ride during the winter.  It just makes things so much safer and it really gets your butt off the couch and in the saddle when it's pitch black outside and -20 (celsius).  I know once it gets really cold (-30 and below) Koda will have time off, but for now, it's riding when you can.

No comments:

Post a Comment