It has been so many weeks since Sandy has seen me ride Sport sidesaddle, I was actually as nervous as I was excited to ride for her today! Although far from being a finised rider, I felt like I had made big strides with Sport.. but only Sandy could confirm that for me.
I mounted and he did his usual funny squat thing and then we proceeded to the riding arena to warm up. After walking a few laps, I was instructed to trot. I kept his head positioned while keeping my hands quiet and kind in his mouth. His motion is wonderful, but our goal today was a nice steady ride - never too fast or unorganized. This is relatively simple for me at the trot and canter... the slow gait and the rack are a different story though.
I have been riding the 3 gaits aside for 3 years now, but have only done the slow gait and rack starting with Sport for a very few months. Funny - as I feel like I am in high school with the 3 basic gates but in kindergarten for the 4th and 5th gears! Not sure how else to explain it. I just don't yet have the balance and all of my aids working together yet. I start out good... but it can fall apart soon after...
...more work needed .... LOTS MORE WORK!
Anyway - in steps in Rose. Rose is my gaited practice horse at the farm. She is a very good and willing girl and with her I can concentrate more on what I am doing than what she is doing...after all, she is such a veteran that she is a bit push button.
Today, Leslie placed a crop in the crease of my arms, cross wise, where my elbows are, instructing me to slow gait Rose and keep the crop balanced on my arms. I have a tendency when I slow gait to lift my left elbow..or my left "chicken wing" as Sandy calls it! Ha Ha - I promise you, it looks as 'unelegant' as it sounds when I do it!! That is a bad habit I need to dispurse of before I show Sport 5 gaited.
When my ride was over, without having to ask, Sandy told me that I had made a lot of improvements during the time she was gone!!! I found myself jumping up and down as I squeeled, "Really?"
Honestly...am I really 50??? because I do not feel 50. I am such a kid at heart...
Now, I have saved the best news for last: