Our cross country outing at the Fork was definitely a breath of fresh air and made me feel like doing the happy dance, but now it’s back to business, and the name of the game is dressage.
Foster got a well deserved couple days off and last night was our first semi-real ride this week. After a discussion with a trainer about his canter transitions, we decided it would be worth trying draw reins to help him understand that he can stay round and engage his hind end to transition rather than rely on his overly developed under-neck.
So last night I tried my hand at them. As one who tends to believe that ‘gadgets’ are to be avoided less they become crutches to true training, I have never used draw reins before and it took me several minutes to figure out how to hold them. Needless to say, I now sport a fresh blister on each hand (gloves next time, duh!) but I do see how they will help get the epiphany I am looking for. Foster had two successful transitions where he used his bum, and the groans he emitted definitely reinforced that he is not used to using those muscles! We kept things pretty short so both of us would not be mentally or physically exhausted, but I see a path forward and that makes me hopeful.
Tonight we will have another go at it, and Sunday we have a lesson in front of mirrors! Today the high is 66, and on Sunday the high is 38 (that’s the high, we will be riding at 10AM, so I’m guessing it will be 32 or so). Needless to say, if I can stay on it should be interesting! That’s North Carolina weather for you though!