Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Riding in the arena

Riding in the arena is a challenge for me.  When I was thrown 3 years ago it was in an arena and I could see the rails flying by...scary stuff.  Biscuit was ran like crazy in an arena and when I first got him he would be very high strung in an arena and would be moving before I got on.  If I mounted just outside the arena he was fine - in the arena he was a pill.  None of that behavior has helped me in my quest for confidence. 

I got out to the barn this afternoon and Allison had brought Biscuit up but hadn't rode him.  I tacked him up and got on in the arena.  He is always a little jacked up and that makes me nervous.  There.  I said it.  It makes me nervous.  I am not near that nervous or anxious at Tyrrell Park! 

I took him around a few times and we'd get near the gate and he'd stop/slow down/ speed up/ bend/ evade/ act like a jackass.  I got him in his jog and he was fighting me some.  Speeding up and getting strong with his head. 

Lee Ann later got on Legato and was working with me on getting Biscuit to go straight - he is doing excellent but certainly not perfect.  I was jogging him in a circle around 1/2 of the arena.  He was turning his head way toward the fence and cutting the corners.  Lee Ann said to lift the inside rein and put on inside leg.  I did as she said and that brought his head around.  She said if he keeps doing that to turn him in tight circles.  We did quiet a few circles today where he was literally turning around in one spot. 

He did really well some of the time and I did too.  Kellie showed up!!!  She saw Barry out on Sarge in the big arena and me in the little arena.  She was going to the feed store and decided to stop on in.  She watched me riding and said to smile!  LOL  She said she now knew why Mike would tell her to breath and smile when she was taking lessons!

I kept working with Biscuit round and round and round going both ways and changing directions.  He fought a little bit but settled down.  I was using leg aids and even a crop.  He got popped on his shoulder a few times.  He is really a good boy and learns well but he will try to evade me by turning that head so the outside rein is very loose.  Lift the inside slightly and that works like a charm.  We worked on transitions from jog to walk.  Squeeze the chicken wings as Lee Ann said and he really slows down.  Lean back...sit deep....lift up my chin....LOL  it all is good and WORKS. 

Lee Ann talked me through getting the canter.  Biscuit was moving very slow when I asked for it and he slightly spazzed out.  He hit the canter but speeded up and I asked him to slow and he was kinda hard to stop but he did stop.  I asked for it 3 times I think.  He did good once.  He is getting better but he does get a little nervous and upset.  I walked him to calm him down and Lee Ann said to walk him on a really loose rein.  He walked right to her and was turning in circles following her.  He is very fond of Lee Ann.  I used leg aides to press him to the sides.  He did pretty well.

Kellie and I made plans to ride Friday morning and Sunday morning.  Hopefully we can work on my canters a little bit.

I took Biscuit's tack off and rinsed him off.  I gave him treats and took him back down to his paddock.  He is a good boy!

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