The minute I ask Lucky to trot, I want to sink down in my heels so that my leg wraps around him. He is so quiet, that I am really working on getting him much more sensitive to leg aids, and have just started him (the last three days of riding) on leg yielding. He does not truly understand this, but he knows right now, that I will continue to annoy him with my leg, my crop, my heel and my voice until he moves the right part the right way. Then I stop annoying him and pet him. So he is learning what I want at a light-year pace.
Today I took him out into the big front field to get him going forward. He is a range-y, big ol’ mover but I feel very, very secure on him, you just sit right into this horse. As I say, he makes me want to equitate immediately, and you know, you have to love a horse that makes you ride right. We actually cantered several circles right, and after about six miscues, did get the left lead. He did not panic, or get fussy or nervous with the work on the left lead, I tried all sorts of bends and flopping about to get the lead, he was not sure I really, really wanted it. Of course he’s stiff on it so we need to work on that. Rome — and left leads — are not built in a day. I remember very clearly, Jack Le Goff, in his loud French voice, “Zar is no instahnt drezzaschge lak instahnt coffee!”
But the upshot of the ride today was we are finally, finally achieving some sort of balance, a way forward. He is not just plunking around with head in air, waiting for the next pull on the rein or kick in the ribs. He understands a bit of what I want, and that the WAY he goes is important, not just that he goes. He’s still a bitch to bridle, but the saddling nonsense is almost gone.
I’ve postulated a theory; that it takes 30 rides on a horse before you know one another. I’m proving out this theory with both Lucky and Hamish. I don’t even want to take them off the property without that 30 rides under the belt. I really think it does take 30 rides to know one another, and I think he and I finally are getting each other. Today was actually about ride 45 or so (we lost a lot of time with lameness this summer) so I am pretty happy to be riding him at all right now.
The bad news department: Rugby is sick, some kind of sore throat. He’s on sulpha pills, so of course won’t eat – a thing — except pick at grass. So he’s on them for five days and then have to try and get him back on feed again. Gaugghhhhh.