Monday, July 23, 2012

Grace Goes to Boot Camp

“I need this mare for a week” were Sarah’s words at the end of our marathon lesson before the July 14th horse show. I had to agree, I was more than willing to hand the reins over for a little while. After sitting on Sarah’s horse for just a few minutes I again realized just how difficult to ride my mare can be. Grace was dropping her back and running from leg pressure. When I held the bit steady she would swing her hip as the leg pressure brought her to the bit. The last thing she wanted to do was lift her back at the lope and step up underneath herself. Sarah was leaving that weekend to drive a horse to California, so yesterday was the day that I dropped my kid off at summer boot camp. 

We’ve had two shows since that lesson, including a schooling show this past Saturday. Grace excelled in all of the pattern classes, but the rail classes did nothing but frustrate me. Sarah kept telling me to hold my hand steady and add leg. I could feel that if I added leg Grace was only going to run. I have developed the bad habit of bumping the bit with my hand because it works, but Sarah pointed out that I am only riding the face and making my horse’s back sore. I’m looking forward to getting us past this point. While rail classes are not our thing, I do believe that it will only make our pattern classes better if Grace and I can hold it together going around and around the pen. Grace is only 20 minutes away this week and I plan to go visit after work.

 I spent yesterday afternoon doing all the things in Grace’s pasture that I can’t do when she is there; taking a portion of fence down so I could weed whack and stripping the outside of her shelter down to the hard pan so it can dry out. I might even put a new load of gravel in before she comes home. Seriously – am I on only one that gets excited about moving gravel??

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