Monday, September 24, 2012

My new crush...

Garrett, if you're reading this, I'm sorry... but I think I may have found love in Argentina.  It's early days yet, but I'm optimistic.  He's muscular, compact and has a bit of that "bad boy" attitude that's just so enticing... he's a bit younger than me (18 years or so) but it doesn't seem to matter...  his name is Justinian and he's a four year old chestnut stallion.  I had a fantastic lesson on him today and I actually felt my lateral work CLICKING for once!  At the beginning I was frustrated because I couldn't get the right bend, but Martin quickly zeroed in on what I was doing wrong, and it's a big one for me: too much rein and not enough leg.  Left to my own devices, I was trying to compensate for not enough leg by racing him forward at a running trot, instead of getting him engaged and then asking for the bend.  It's really exciting for me to realise that I'm starting to feel true engagement: I'm not quite at the point where I can instantly achieve it when I want it... but at least I'm at the point where after doing something without it, I get that Uh oh feeling!  Anyway, Justinian was great and by the end I felt so happy.  Later in the day I tried reiterating the same things with Herodes and was delighted to discover that they worked. 

Another thing I tried to remind myself about today was tensing my feet.  I have this really odd habit (and speak up if you do it too) of curling my toes when I concentrate... but it seems to stiffen and tense my whole leg, and it's not something that an instructor or eye on the ground could see.  I  had to continually remind myself to stop doing it... I will break this habit, dangnambit!

Other than my lesson on Justinian, I also rode Pastrocito in the morning, lunged Skyline and hacked Lion, Jour and Herodes.  It was a cool, blustery day but the guys managed to get all the jumps set up in the ring in preparation for schooling with Mono tomorrow.  And I gotta say, they look dang sharp!  Pictures soon. 


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