It was actually nice out on Wednesday! Yay!
I tacked up Ava, who was very “UP”, and we jigged our way out to the field to practice. Man the horse flies were atrocious! Five of those suckers were bombing us on the ride through Pine Tree lane.
The warm up started out poorly with Ava doing her Friesian spook every other stride, interspersed with impatient trot strides. I worked on leg yields and turn on the forehands and I was very happy with how she settled down to work.
So we’ve been practicing haunches in at the walk for a few weeks now, trying to get her to calmly accept my leg further behind the girth area. Some days are better than others, but overall she’s progressing. On Wednesday I had decided it was time to work at it in the trot. I bent her into the corner, got her nicely on the outside rein (going to the left) and gently slid that right leg back behind the girth… AND BAM! Haunches were wrapped around that inside leg like she was born to it. I about dropped her I was so floored! And thrilled!
Needless to say, going to the right was not very good. I’m still having problems getting her to stay in that outside rein after I slide my left leg back. She’ll bend nicely into the corner, fills up the outside (left) rein, and the moment I slide my left leg back she hollows out and drops her inside shoulder.
That’s her weak side though, so I expect it to be somewhat less elegant. However, I think I really need to work on my seat and aids a little more at the walk going to the right so that I can help her stand up better.
On a side note… I was very nervous about riding Wednesday. It didn’t help that I’ve been watching The Best of Burghly Horse Trials (3 Day Eventing). Some of those crashes are just terrifying! So my head was filled with bad horse crashes, broken collar bones, horses flipping, etc. Add in the fact that Ava was jumping and spooking at every little thing in the barn and outside before I climbed on her. I was really starting to rethink my desire to ride that evening. But I did anyway, and I was very glad I didn’t let my fear stop me. Ava’s a good mare. She’s a little excitable at times, but overall she’s very safe. I’m lucky to have such a good horse. 🙂