Rode Boo on Thursday after cleaning off all the mud. He likes to roll in the mud...a lot! The weather was mild and it was not raining, so the barn was a very pleasant place to be. I thought I was going to be all by myself, but Gen showed up to ride Zorro and a bit later Tracey showed up to ride Chynna. I was glad to have the company. My ride was just okay. We've been having issues with Boo leaning on the bit. I struggled with that some. I can usually get him to start holding himself up and get him forward and round, but it takes some time to do it. I figured I would work on that in my next lesson which happened to be the coming Saturday with Bernadine at Crosby Creek. After my ride and while I was cleaning up Tracey and Gen showed off by showing me how easily they could get their horses to not only cross but stand in the water. Bah! Humbug!
My sister Chele came over from Central Oregon on Thursday night. There was a Gem Faire in Hillsboro at the Washington county fairgrounds over the weekend, and we planned on being there bright and early on Friday. After stopping at Starbucks and then picking up our jewelery designer buddy Rhonda, we headed out for some expensive kind of fun. Whoo Hoo! Bead show!!
With the farrier, worming, and the equine chiropractor coming in the next week, I had to be a bit more conservative than I would have liked. I did manage to get the beads I needed to finish a necklace I have been planning and I bought some gorgeous shimmery red and orange beads that kept catching my eye. Don't know what I will do with them yet, but I will figure something out. The red beads really do shimmer and they are a bit deeper red than they look. My flash has washed them out.
Saturday I attended a clinic with Bernadine Diers out at Crosby Creek Stables. I love going to her clinics because they are low-key and I always come away feeling like I have learned something. This time was no exception. My warm up went smoothly. Boo didn't do any "BOO" kind of things. We walked, trotted, and cantered. All was well...I thought.
When the lesson began Bernadine asked me what I wanted to work on, and I told her about Boo leaning on the bit and feeling heavy in my hands. In the dressage world it does seem like you are suppose to feel some weight in your hands when the horse is on the bit. I told her that sometimes my shoulders and neck hurt when I was finish with my ride. She came over to me and took hold of the reins just above the bit and started pulling on them and asked me to tell her when the weight in my hands felt about the same as when I rode. She agreed that Boo wasn't being honest and carrying himself. She asked me about my martingale, and I told her it was it was probably not really needed, but it was a crutch for me (I have some fear issues after my accidents plus I don't call him Boo for nothing) and that whenever I tried to ride without it Boo immediately started going around the ring with his nose in the air. Bernadine said that was a sure sign that he had gotten into the habit of using the martingale to rest on while he was traveling around instead of carrying himself.
Bernadine decided my martingale wasn't adjusted properly and she adjusted it for me. This way there would be better alignment and Boo would not be able to use it as a crutch so easily. She counseled me to work on weaning myself from it :) While doing this she noticed that I had a D ring snaffle and told me to try to find a loose-ring snaffle instead. This also makes it more difficult for the horse to lean on the bit. "Oh, and by the way did you know that you have your stirrup leathers are attached backwards and your knee blocks are upside down?" Okay, now I'm thinking what the heck? I feel like crawling into a hole!!! She also told me I lean forward just a tad and it's not me it's my saddle...so I need to go get some wedges that can be inserted into my saddle to level it. I have to tell ya ladies, I have been riding in this saddle exactly the way it was for the past 5 years. The last thing she noticed was I have snaps attached to my reins and I use the snaps to attach the reins to the bit. She asked me if I changed reins a lot. When I told her I did'nt she said she thought I would feel Boo's mouth better and it would be less jarring on him if I attached the leather to the bit instead, so we've changed that too.
Now, finally, we start the actual lesson but I think I will leave that for the next post ;)