You would not believe how hard Chance and I have been working. I have never ridden so hard in my life, and the crazy thing is every few weeks I find yet another level of work that is still left to do. It is incredible. Lately we have been working on getting my body correct, and like magic Chance fixes himself…. it is incredible and so self evident. But alas, I keep uncovering things.
Our recent goal is to get forward motion while having him come evenly into both reins. This is building on my previous goal of getting a real connection with him, which I do not even pretend to have, but we continue to work on it. Before I had him going into the bridle, but he was too light in my hands, with nothing behind it, now we are on the road. The other day I realised that every time we go to a jump he fades to the right, and I set off today to discover the root of that issue, and I think I found it. I do not engage my left tailbone, I collapse with my right side and my elbows I have discovered are nowhere near where they should be!!! Imagine all these things that I am missing and yet, I continue to ride. As I worked on the simple act of lifting my ribcage, my horse for a few strides, would straighten. WOW. This riding thing sure is cool.
I digress. I am here, in Arizona alive and well. Chance made it too, he is better than ever, really. He is looking like he should, a hunk of a beautiful thoroughbred, although I had to change his diet upon coming here to mostly all alfalfa, he handled the transition and is just blossoming. I swear every day he grows, but he sure has widened out and every single day I count myself lucky that I have him. My big boy is going to be officially 6 here in a 10 days, (even though his real birthday is in March) and I feel like his antics can no longer be chalked up to baby energy. I am coming to more of a realization; I own a hot thoroughbred. Now that he is fit, he is not only powerful but crafty. He can duck faster than any horse I have ever ridden, but the ironic thing is that he is so dang athletic that I can stick his naughtiness. He gets ridden 6 days a week, has a stall and a pen to himself and a new best friend, my trainers horse ‘Z.’ I also have an arena that is groomed constantly and a whole set of nice jumps that only I use, so I never have to change heights and such… wow am I sounding spoiled.
Arizona, by my measure is a sure different animal than Colorado. Besides the obvious dedication to its’ western heritage, it is distinctly more horsey, all the while being less horsey. Sorry, double talk. I think in some ways horses are more widespread, and who could not like the riding year round, but it also seems more ‘backyard’ people than Colorado. Maybe quality vs quantity thing? Not sure… but I sure do like it, although I suppose just more of my interaction by choice are horse people, so it seems like there are more??? Who knows. I know that I do appreciate my life, especially after writing about it.
Our goals are forever the same, maybe this year I will finally enter my boy in his first event… still aiming for a beginner novice event. We have been trying to get to schooling shows, but lately circumstances have not allowed. We did get to another dressage show, and this one was worlds better than the first. He behaved, actually he was stellar, we rode three tests and actually placed in the small classes. His first truly earned ribbon, I suppose that was a big milestone for my boy. We have been schooling 2’3 courses, but are about to up the heights back to 2’6. I would really like to get up to 2’9 here soon. He is so solid right now that for once I am not worried. I am finally over my refusing, defensive position and with it Chance stopped his refusing behavior. Another magic remedy… just kidding. Maybe tomorrow we will up our heights, I can only hope.
Well this was mostly a blog of blab. I guess a little catch up. Hopefully from now on it can be less about my floating through life and more of a ottb’s journey to his first event??? I can hope. I can still have analysis, but I have so much to write about riding and my super cool horse. Forever working, forever striving to be better.