This morning I went out to Roxanne's place for the first time this season, to try out a horse there that needs some extra rides on her.
I bundled up like crazy, expecting it to be as icy, grey and windy as it was yesterday morning, but it turned out to be a beautiful day with this wonderful golden sunlight lighting everything up. Just gorgeous!
When I got there I wasn't sure which black mare to grab. If I'd taken a stab at it myself, I probably would have accidentally tacked up Maggi. :D
Rogue is adorable and felt like the absolutely perfect size for me. She loves attention and came right over to the gate when she saw me come up. Easiest catch ever! Had the lead on her before the gate was even open.
She's a bit of a tool to lead and tie, but not to the extent that she seemed dangerous. I'll make a point of being firm with her and will try to do some leading and standing practice. Lots of it.
I lunged her a bit first and she seemed pretty pokey. Not the zippy crazy hot Morgan she was reputed to be. Under saddle she was totally fine. Slightly hesitant to carry on past her buddy in the next field, but didn't try a single wrong move. She was pokey and got tired quickly. I had to KICK and KICK to keep her trotting. Definitely not a speed demon!!
She was bitted with a ported solid Kimberwick, with curb chain, so I was trying to be extra loose and giving with my contact. She was nice and sensitive to it though, so it worked out just fine. I barely had to touch the reins to turn her, even on a fairly small circle. I am doubtful of her actual need a bit of this type, though I actually kind of like Kimberwicks. She just didn't seem to need much -- but then I haven't ridden her on an UP day yet, either.
It was really nice riding a horse that feels like the "right" size for me. I have a pretty wide range of horse sizes I'll comfortably ride, of course, but 16.2 is about my upper limit. I think she's somewhere around 14.2 or 14.3? Hard to judge anymore, it's been so long since I've been around horses whose height I've actually sticked. She's about Razz sized or a tad under, which is lovely, as she always felt small enough not to be "scary," but big enough to do anything I would be interested in doing.
Roxanne had some very nice things to say about my riding skills, my confidence levels, and just general improvements. So good to hear!! I do feel so much more skilled and confident now, even just since this spring. While I don't get to ride as often as I would like, I always do my "homework" both physically and mentally. I read articles, I watch videos, and I try to stretch out the parts of me that are stubbornly stiff and crooked. It's so nice to hear that it's paying off.
Observations in myself while riding: my default hip movement at the walk is maybe not as "with it" as it could be. I often try to drive the walk with my seat to some extent, but I think that effort has led to me being a bit out of sync with the motion when I'm not actively pushing. Need to get a good walk going that can self-sustain and then try to go all belly-dancer with it and just really let myself move along. My hips and lower back are definitely a lot more isolated and mobile than they used to be, that's for damn sure.
Elbows and shoulder(s) felt better today too. De-pretzeling myself on the yoga ball seems to be paying off. Sweet!!
My stirrups were at least a hole too long. Ooops. I was swimming in them. Noted for next time. :P
I also met Apple, and might be working with her as well, soon. Did I ever imagine there'd be so many horses on hand to ride whenever? Nope, but it's AWESOME! And so nice to be trusted with the task, too.