Saturday, October 13, 2012

October 10th - 9:15pm

We walked down to Petrobras for our 15 minutes of internet this afternoon. We try to be super efficient about getting finished up, closing up the gates and leaving Rancho Pampa but we've still yet to get to the gas station before 6:45. And we have to leave at 7:00 to get home before dark. Proof right there I love my family. Walking (probablt closer to running) there and back after work just to send the necessary "I am still alive" messages. But at least I get Diet Coke. Or Coke Lite as its known here. I miss it in cans in the US. The little things that ya miss!
Today was a good day at the farm though. The ring had dried enough to really ride which was nice. And Im off young horse/Rodrigo duty until Friday so can really ride for a few days. My knee has been feeling a decent amount better as of late which is nice. After the first horse of the day and Ive gotten to stretch it out a bit Im actually a lot better off. Staying hopeful that itll be nothing major and in another week or so Ill be 100%. I was on Luli, Holendesa, Mauro, Virtuoso, Herodes and Nacar. Martin had us really working hard on their flatwork which was tough for me.
Dressage/flatwork is an area I am very much lacking in skills. I generally know when they're on their forehand, dropping a shoulder, behind my leg, ect but a lot of times I am completely incapable of doing anything to change what is happening. Yes, some transition, lateral movements and whatnot will help but systematically putting together an organized approach to dealing with the problem is not a strength of mine. Especially since I have to be constantly evaluating what's going on and be ready to change the plan Ive come up with. Mentally its a lot and if I start really thinking about it, I get stiff and stuck which is totally counterproductive. Staying tight in the saddle but light/loose enough to go with the horse. Mainting control without constantly dictating to them. When to force an issue/push for more and when to accept what you get and be happy. I have such a hard time with that. Feeling out a horse's level of education and knowing where I can really push for improvement is something I want and need to learn. Or keep chipping away at learning. I think part of the challening part is that there is no hard and fast right way for anything. Nacar is one of the younger horses and with him just stretching into the bridle and bending correctly feels great. That, at this time, is the best he's got. But then I get on Virtuoso and stretching into the bridle while bending correctly is something accomplished in the first couple minutes. During the ride, more has to be asked of him because he is capable of far, far more already. Such a hard balance to find.
Though, as I once again proved today, my balance on a horse is even harder to find. Came off Luli again. At the trot. I swear I have mastered the ability of falling for stupid reason, landing on my butt ad embarassing myself. So as much as Id like to make "improving flatwork skills" at the top of my list of stuff to work on, "staying on" still has to take spot number one. Martin said it best though, "Everyone who gets on a horse runs the risk of coming off. And youve got to get on to ride". So after a deep breath, I went and fetched my favorite mare, crawled back on and managed to put together a pretty good ride. And all the ones after that were even better. Despite everything, the falling, the butt kicking lessons, the hard work and early mornings, all I want to do is ride.

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