Friday, January 20, 2017

Numb hands, cold hands, warm hands?

Had a good ride this week, back on Monday. (It's now Friday.) Nothing really stood out about this one, for good or bad, just a decent ride with some of the usual quirks. My two point needs more practice; my legs aren't as strong at it as they should be, and I'm still tucking my butt defensively underneath me. Same old. Canter transitions are still much better than they used to be, though I do need to be more consistent about getting the right lead. Right as in *right*, not correct. I have no problem getting the left lead.

My ability to sit the canter more consistently is improving, but I do start bouncing a bit when I get tired. The leather half chaps help a lot more than the insulated ones, so I'll try to wear them unless it's quite cold.

I also noticed I was using the balls of my feet to help push myself up in my posting. Ack. Oops. Need to fix that before it becomes (or continues to be) a habit.

One bit of extremely helpful info this week: set up for an upward transition the same way I would for a downward one. Half halt, balance, get the horse together, even slowing if necessary, THEN ask. I like this approach! It worked really well. Will take some practice to get used to it.

So, in my previous week's ride, I found my gloves too bulky, and between the cold, my gloves, and holding a whip, I was losing circulation in my whip hand, and eventually just took the gloves off. This week I rode with no gloves and had cold hands. Neither of these scenarios are ideal, exactly. Ha. So on our trip back from Niagara Falls today, I went to Greenhawk in Barrie and tried on EVERY pair there. Opted for some Elation brand leather summer gloves. While they won't be *warm*, exactly, they're better than nothing. They're nice and stretchy and supple and feel like they'll be very pleasant to ride in in any kind of weather. And as long as I don't destroy them, they'll be good to show in as well. Looking forward to trying them out on Monday.

I sneaked a little sort-of-shoulder-in at the very end of the ride during cool out. I have no frigging clue how to *actually* do it, but sort of guessed at it and it kind of worked. I put the aids on that seemed to make sense to ask for that. She was moving straight down the track with her neck and shoulders bent to the inside slightly. The shoulders would need to come more off the track for it to be the actual movement, but it was an interesting little experiment. I figure we'll get there when we get there, in lessons, but it seems like it would be a satisfying movement to learn.

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