Continuing my catalogue of Naia's early rides. (FYI, I am just planning to go up to Ride #20 or 30)
December 5, 2020
Rode in Western saddle and bridle in lesson with SJ. This was the first ride where I was let off the lead line, Naia still basically followed SJ as she walked around the arena but I did do a few circles solo. Still all walk.
December 13, 2020
This ride was a big milestone for me as it was the first time I rode Naia outside of a lesson or clinic, and with no type of ground person whatsoever. I was definitely nervous so I made a deal with myself that I would ride, but keep it super short to keep it a positive experience. I got on, walked a total of 3 cloverleaf patterns and that was that. The cloverleaf pattern is one that AM and SJ taught me before I started riding. They really like doing endless patterns to keep a horse focused on the aids with frequent turns, but also a repeating pattern so the horse knows what is expected and relaxes into their work. The cloverleaf looks like diagram below. It can be ridden in either direction and the circles can vary in size as required. This ride was also in my western saddle and bridle.
|After Ride #7|
January 10, 2021
This was my second solo ride. A friend was selling her wide County dressage saddle, and so I took it for a trial. It seemed to fit decently so I rode in it for this ride, though without any stirrups (I didn't plan that one well). In this ride Naia was struggling with the forward so instead of riding tight patterns I did some larger walk circles. A couple people and horses walked by the arena during my ride and I was proud of Naia for dealing with the distractions. I made it another short ride so it would stay a positive experience.
|Trying on the County (later saddle fitter said it wasn't good fit)|
January 31, 2021
Another solo ride in the trial County saddle. For this ride I still stayed at the walk but rode 20m circles, cloverleaf pattern, figure 8s, and even walked over ground poles. This was my longest ride to-date at a full 20 minutes (other rides had been 15 minutes or less).
|I love how careful and thinking she is over obstacles|
|I love this obnoxious rainbow pad|
February 5, 2021
For this ride I was sharing the arena with another boarder. She left with her horse halfway through my ride. Naia has gotten good at working through lots of distractions but her biggest weakness is when other horses leave her. I debated getting off when the other rider did but decided to keep going. Naia did have a little bit of a hissy fit and was throwing her head and trying to follow the other horse but I stayed calm and worked her through it. After a few minutes she relaxed and was listening to me again which I thought was a significant win. This ride was also all at walk and in the borrowed County saddle.