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She's Not a Baby Anymore!

Early spring saw some immediate changes in how Ellie carried herself and our dressage work started to truly improve.  There had been times last year where flat work felt like a fight and I wondered to myself if she was ever going to just relax and listen to me haha.

Thankfully, as the title suggests, Ellie has suddenly grown up in front of my eyes.  We have had some really stellar lessons lately, where I feel like I am suddenly able to make things click.  We also had an incredibly frustrating dressage lesson a few weeks ago where Ellie was in rip-roaring peeing heat (not normal for her) and we worked through 45 minutes of her refusing to bend right.  So, ya know, as much as she is improving, she is still an opinionated redheaded mare!  ;-)

But, I have to give her credit because she is really working her little butt off for me!  Sadly, I had not been able to schedule in a jump lesson before our first three-phase, which led to me riding her ridiculously backward at a slow trot the entire …

Rushing at home :(

So tonight's ride started out well. It was a jumping night. :) We warmed up and Dreamy was really settled into a nice relaxed rhythm. The connection to the bit was good and she was not doing the teeny head toss thing.

I warmed up over a small crossrail. Then we went to an easy gymnastic: 18" vertical, ground pole, 2' crossrail. Each had a stride between. She wants to drift to the left, which is fine, I can correct that. She was a bit sticky, so I did it a couple times each direction. We got a good rhythm and she cantered easily through it.

Then we went to the "big" 2'7" gate. I like this jump. :) She did fine, each direction. Her bascule is such that I get bumped out of the saddle over the fence. I KNOW my leg slips back and I KNOW I need some jumping equitation help! GRRR....it is just like my dressage equitation, as it is all shot to hell from not having had a lesson in 7 years. Oh well, have to fix one thing at a time....

SO, anyway, I then did the combination to the crossrail, to the gate. Did that twice and called it good. She is jumping much better, picking up a nice easy canter both ways, and all that needs help is ME. :)

Then I get the bright idea to try my canter circles. I should have just called it a night and put her up....but NO I have to push myself. Uggg......

And I start to the left, her worst side. Oh boy, we get a nice flat out RUN into the pace each time I ask for the canter. WHY OH WHY does she NOT do this rushing thing at my lessons???? I have to work so hard not to get frustrated. Mostly I feel as though if we only had a RING to work in, these problems would not happen. I HATE THAT!

So I ditch the cantering and just try to get a nice trot in this direction. But she looses her mind momentarily and has to be an idiot. So we do 3 strides of trot, 8 strides of WALK. And halt. And a teeny bit of trotting and HALT. We have not had this type of stress for a long time.

Then I switch direction once I get a halfway decent trot. She is FINE to canter to the right. Of course......

So I figure we better get a left lead canter before I call it a night. I get the bright idea to use the crossrail to get a canter....it works. I trot in and canter out 3 times. The last time her canter is actually quite nice. :)

Dreamy ended up working much harder than I planned on tonight. Oh well. Her own fault. Tomorrow will be a dressage ride in preparation for our SMDA show in Sunday. We have Intro B at 9:23AM and Training 1 at 10:55. HUGE classes.....Intro B has 12 riders and Training 1 has 16. Probably no shot at a ribbon (SIGH). I am such a ribbon ho. I know, I know it is not about the ribbons. ROFL! I will just be happy to break 55% on the Training test. Over 60% for Intro B would be nice. :)

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