On Friday evening I went out to see her. It was my first practice ride at Windwalker. We worked for a good 15 minutes, practicing what I learned at the belt lesson. Spirit was great, and I felt that I was doing pretty well with my new found supportive body positioning, and *demanding* Spirit be balanced and uphill. There's a few low spots in the arena where I am being a particular stickler on this point, and it is really helping. Keeping Spirit uphill while going downhill (even slightly) has always been a challenge for me. Afterward we went on a nice trail ride. Spirit still had plenty of go, so we cantered up the hill, did some exploring, got completely lost, then turned around and came back. I will need an escort for my next few trail rides. =P
|On trail, halfway up the hill, overlooking the dressage court.|
Laurie set up an fun gymnastic for us. I only took pictures after the lesson, after it was all built up, but of course it started out as just ground poles and then slowly but surely everything increased. Here's how it ended up:
Laurie didn't actually tell me this, but I presume that we did gymnastics in part because it reduces rider-error. All I really had to do was set up Spirit properly then get out of her way. And in fact I was a little rusty on both counts, but soon got it figured out. Meanwhile Spirit was a good sport and didn't get too offended at my mistakes. We both had fun, which is the whole point.
We did have one refusal, at the red and white oxer, when we added some flower boxes to the jumps beyond it. I schooled it carefully, thoughtfully, then we we approached (the whole thing) and had no problem. In some sense I'm actually pleased that I got the opportunity to handle a refusal. After the lesson we did another trail ride, this time with Jess and Storm. It was a lovely Saturday afternoon.
Time for a few more ranch photos:
|12x24 half-covered pipe corrals overlooking arena. Spirit on the right.|
|Lower turnouts (behind pipe corrals). Spacious with plenty of shade and water.|
|Quasi artistic photo of lemon groves near the washracks.|
In other news, I'm finally cashing in on our prizes from GLAPHC 2010 (yes, 2 years ago). Padded black leather halter with engraved name plate, and I also picked up a new cotton lead (she ate hers upon move-in) and a lovely aqua flysheet (on sale for $40 at Calabasas saddlery! Score!).