Friday, August 15, 2014

Two Rides, One Day(Ride on Ronnie)

 For Wednesday's lesson I rode Ronnie, the bay mare I mentioned earlier, riding Chester on my own just before so he wouldn't sit until my next lesson. On Chester I didn't do any hard work, just letting him stretch his legs in walk and trot. I did walk leg yields, which are improving, serpentines, and rode through my test pattern. Then, after putting him away, I got on Ronnie for my lesson.

 Ronnie had been ridden earlier and was a little tired, not moving very quickly, so Meghan let me use a crop just in case Ronnie needed some encouraging to get her going. I used is several times, but only when she didn't respond to my leg.

 I started the lesson as I often do, riding around the dressage arena and across several diagonals to change directions. Then, I did some serpentines on her in the trot, working on keeping her looking to the inside as I do with Chester. Meghan says my position seems better in the dressage saddle, possibly because I'm more supported and balancing is easier.

 I tried my new dressage test on Ronnie. The downward transitions from the canter weren't really good at first; it took a couple strides to slow her down. The other parts went more smoothly, though I needed to used a bit more leg to keep her going to the points of the circle. Ronnie really stretched down for the stretchy trot part, as the test says. I went through the test twice. At one point I needed to circle again and give her a tap because she didn't canter right away, but the other upward transitions were good.

 Then I made a serpentine to work on the canter to trot transitions, which needed some work before I tried my test again. I trotted the outside parts of the serpentine, the picked up the right lead canter upon reaching the middle part. When I asked for the downward transition to the trot, I tried using my voice to slow Ronnie, which worked well. The transitions became more smooth as I rode the serpentines, though somewhere along the line I lost my geometry and wasn't going straight on the lines in between the circles of the serpentines. I adjusted that, did another serpentine, and let Ronnie walk before beginning the test.

 The next time trying the test was a lot better. Though her canter was a little fast on the straight parts and half circles, I was able to slow her down to the trot right away using my voice. Ronnie is trained to respond well to voice commands, so she listened when I used them.

 I like Ronnie. She's a sweet, level-headed mare and I enjoy riding her.

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