I've still been riding and the riding has been going well. I've learned that Kachina does well with routine so we've been sticking with a pretty solid routine. Every time I go to the barn, I bring Kachina in, tie her in the same place, groom and tack up the same way, ride the same warmup, and then move onto the work of the day. It's been working, we've been having really good rides. Also, while not perfect, Kachina has been more accepting about being tied inside and her ground manners are improving.
Even though the routine is working for us, I am wary about being too consistent. Kachina will have to cope with new situations sometimes and I don't want that to be an issue.
Today was cold and snowy and I was tired. I just felt like doing something different, so I did. First I lunged Kachina. I tried something new, to reinforce our lessons about inside bend, I lunged her in a surcingle and just one inside side rein. I worked on some transitions, including canter transitions (which we aren't doing under saddle yet). Kachina wanted to get a little hollow and counterbent at first, but even though the side rein wasn't that tight, it seemed to help encourage her to accept an inside bend and more rounded frame. I don't lunge frequently, but I think the single side rein is a useful tool that I may use again, especially for canter work.
Next, I decided to throw on my bareback pad and hop on bareback. I haven't ridden bareback since early last year and I've never done much of it. I don't feel very confident bareback, and Kachina isn't always the most solid horse so I don't push it. Today I felt like trying though so I did. I was a little nervous mounting up but it went well as soon as I was on. We just walked but I got some great lateral work and 10 and 20m circles. It gave me some good insight into what I do with my hips and upper body (bracing and leaning respectively).
To end the evening I let Kachina loose in the indoor arena where she enjoyed a few good rolls (which her blanket and the snow make less satisfying outside).
|Our selfie game is improving too|
Overall, I had fun breaking routine today, and Kachina took the change in stride, staying nice and relaxed but focused.
Stay tuned for some goal related posts and my blogger secret santa gift (which finally arrived on Friday!)