A gorgeous day for riding. Once again the weather forecast is for things to go downhill - snow / sleet / freezing rain later in the week - so I headed up to the barn as soon as possible after work. Looks like there will be time for some tack cleaning coming up.
Confession. A big hole in my equine knowledge is wrapping. Considering our tricky footing these days, it seemed a good idea to pull out the polo wraps and give Val some extra support. My trainer had shown me the basics ages ago, inside to outside - front to back, but I seriously need practice. After today I'm thinking - why would they package the wraps (new) rolled inside out? Is this a stupid question? Shouldn't the velcro sections be in the middle of the roll when you start? Was I supposed to re-roll the wraps before wrapping? This is the kind of task that can send me over the edge, due to the conflict between my perfectionist side and my adhd side. Anyhow, I got him wrapped after a fashion. He had way more patience about the ordeal than I did. (Any tips about wrapping would be welcome!)
We focused on forward today. I recently got a lot of good comments about forward making straight easier. (which my trainer often reminds me) I'm still getting the gumption to trot bareback, so forward needs to happen under saddle for now.
As soon as I had Val's attention, which didn't take long at all, we moved right into our trot work. I practiced adjusting our tempo, both with my posting, and counting out the rhythm I wanted. Also keeping the tempo steady throughout the whole figure, which was sort of ovally today, as the whole back of the arena was flooded out. We achieved good energy quickly, and the transitions were responsive. Some especially nice halts off of my seat. And minimal use of the whip - Val was moving off of my leg almost exclusively.
Posture / position felt good today. I was conscious of how my legs influenced Val's haunches, and attempted to use the aid with more subtlety. As time goes on I realize how much I (formerly) used my reins for steering, and how much more effective my legs are as a steering aid. After an aborted attempt at on-board video, (which proved too big a challenge of my multi-tasking skills), we finished off with some good work on the buckle... round circles and turns on the forehand both ways... we even had a nice foamy mouth. Someone got plenty of cookies ;)