AKA "conditioning day". According to the schedule that I more or less try to stick to, we were supposed to do trot and canter sets today. I'm always torn about this. I feel like if we do concentrated dressage for a few days, then we make some real progress. The only problem is that the progress comes at the expense of our jumping. Oh well. That's why we rotate, right?
So. Conditioning. I rode Izzy all over the facility today. We did a little warm up work in the big outdoor, meandered around the indoor, walked by the dressage arena, then crossed the bridge and went to the track. Fortunately, Izzy seems to be over her 'I absolutely cannot pass the barn to cross the bridge' phase. She thought about balking today, but a little extra leg convinced her to keep going.
We did a couple trot sets to the left. I let her walk a lap, then we picked up the canter. This is an excellent way to work on forwardness, right? She got rolling along, I got settled, and then I went up to two point to lighten my seat and work on my balance.
I almost fell off the mare. Apparently, even though my hip is now fine, my rump is still pretty sore from our tumble on Saturday. I thought about sitting down again, but my hip improved most when I went running and pushed through it, so I stayed in two point for three painful laps.
I know how long the track is and my goal is to build our fitness while figuring out how to accurately estimate my meters/minute speed. Unfortunately, I have so much to work on right now that I can hardly keep myself out of Izzy way, much less know what's going on.
Here's a typical set: Ok, we are on a corner going away from the barn. Walk to canter transition with much fuss. Check. Correct lead. Check. Elbows bending to follow motion of her head. Check. (Turn) Allow motion to roll from my hip to my knee, not hip to foot. Check. (turn) My left foot hurts. That means I'm putting too much weight there instead of balancing centrally (turn) Rebalance. Butt hurts. Shoulders too far forward. If she spooks, I'm going over her shoulder. One!!
After a few sets left, we switched to the right. On the second set, I finally seemed to get it more or less together. I felt like a race jockey coming around the corner; eyes up, body balanced, hands still, and oh boy, Izzy felt it to. We GALLOPED down the stretch and around the corner, at which point I freaked. Oh shit!! Is this track even designed for galloping? What if she loses her footing? Ack! No! Whoa! Izzy did a flying lead change, then one back.
Ok, I think that's enough for today...