then pen cleaned. I’d planned on going inside and working for a few hours, but because it appeared as though it might rain, I instead decided to ride before writing.
I was, as I always am, unnecessarily nervous about going out solo on Raudi in the wind. Still, I was not so nervous as to delay the inevitable. She did start slow on the walk, and was equally slow on the trail. This has been a problem lately. However, I tried something that I’d seen in an Icelandic horse video, something that a German trainer suggested for horses that aren’t being forward. I first gave her a come on come on squeeze with my legs, and then when she refused to pick up the pace, tapped her behind her girth with the crop, repeatedly. When she moved out, I stopped. I felt like this was the right thing to do. What got her going was my insistence that she do this. I suspect that in short order that she will now move out with just a light squeeze of my leg.
I also had a major revelation about hill run out. This was that Raudi’s picking up her pace at the base of hills is my doing. I hold my breath going down, then exhale when we get to the bottom. What I should instead do is start to exhale very slowly when going down.
I would like to get to the point where I am using my breath in unison with Raudi’s movements; for example, if I want her to go faster, increase the speed using my breath. This is going to be a while, but I know that I’m on to something. No one that I know is teaching riding this way, but it makes perfect sense to me.
Raudi and the dogs stopped and waited for me to dismount at the trailhead, and as well, the dogs waited for me to hook them up. This is always deserving of a treat. I was pleased about this – and on the walk home I thought some about how lucky we are, that we have an area close to the house where when accompanied, they can run free.
I did some agility with Raudi on the leadline. She’s still hitting poles with her hooves. I think that my working on posture, breath, and awareness is going to help us work through this minor snag.
I took Mr. T for a ride after putting Raudi away. Pete’s been telling me that he’s a handful when ponying Hrimmi. He says that Mr. T just wants to go, but that Hrimmi keeps stopping. Today, while riding solo, I finally understood what Pete’s up against. The horse is feeling good and really wants to move out. What to do? I am thinking that we’ll chunk things down here, by first having me give Pete a few lessons on Raudi. We’ll work on his breathing, seat, and stopping and going. In the next lesson, I’ll have Pete ride Raudi and at the same time pony Hrimmi. My having a ground view will give me some ideas as what to do about this problem when I pony Hrimmi.
Got in at 2:30 p.m. and then ate lunch. I’m now beginning my writing day. The anticipated storm has not yet struck. No matter, darkness descends – going to work for a few hours on If Wishes were Horses. I’ll then begin work on putting together my own stretching program, using a few books that I have on hand.
Next: 15. 1/15/15: The Day in the Life of a Happy Idiot