It's so nice that there is light late enough for evening rides now. I met a friend for a quick power walk in the campground, then zoomed back to the barn. (much to Val's relief) What can I say, my guy digs his eats :) We tacked up and had a lovely pre-supper ride.
Focus was on contact, timing of my aids and two point trot work. And I experimented with my stirrup length, as in I shortened them one hole. Kacy from All Horse Stuff and Carol from Dressage Training Journal have been discussing the benefits of riding in two point and stirrup length on Carol's blog. Thanks so much to both of them for the inspiration and training suggestions.
I recently had the opportunity to examine some of my trot work on video, revealing among other things an un-quiet lower leg and a not low enough heel. Immediate improvement today with the stirrup length change. I must confess that I had lowered my stirrups a notch, a month or so ago, because I was sure that all of the bareback work we've been doing had opened my hips and stretched my hamstrings enough. Guess I jumped the gun ;)
This evening I rode in two point for ten or fifteen minutes straight, then alternated long sides of the arena and then numbers of strides. My legs felt good, my balance felt good, and Val was very relaxed. I foresee more two point in our future, because I want to earn my longer stirrups!! An altogether enjoyable ride.
As a horse crazy eight year old, I channeled my frustrated horse desires into a reading habit. I lived five minutes away from our local library, and spent whole summers there, reading every last horse book in the collection, memorizing horse "facts" and gaining ammunition for my constant requests for riding lessons and my own horse.
Imagine my surprise when, while wandering around online, I should stumble upon an etsy store that sold primarily jewelry, as well as one vintage book,
which I read and re-read countless times as a child. It was my horse bible. What a blast from the past to see this book again. And what a random way to find it after all these years.
Here are some highlights:
The ubiquitous parts of the horse diagram...
A lovely synopsis of the goals of a riding instructor.. (wish my first riding instructor had read this!)
And then there's this?!