Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Driving You Crazy With Stirrups

Another clinic weekend with David Blake. He came in the nick of time for me since for the past 2 weeks Zoe has been acting nutty on the longe line. She was hurrying around the circle and constantly popping into canter -- on the wrong lead -- and wouldn't slow down easily. It was driving me nuts and I was running out of things to do.

Consequently, it was a few weeks ago that I added stirrups to the saddle in which I longe her. Made sense since I was starting to ride her more. But you get the idea where this may be headed.

David longed her on Saturday, and she was displaying the same rushed behavior. He didn't have an explanation, though he was worried there may be something physically wrong, but no real indication what that might be. We didn't ride her on Saturday. On Sunday before the lesson I took the stirrups off the saddle because I was suspecting that they might be driving her nuts. Lo and behold, I longed her and she was perfect! She still tended to speed up, but she slowed down more readily and listened better.

I think the banging stirrups were driving her crazy. I told David I would give the credit of "fixing" her to him and not to simply removing the stirrups. But we all know what really happened. I haven't longed her since Sunday, so I will do that today or tomorrow to make sure the problem has really gone away.

Jimmy, on the other hand, was excellent as usual. I have so much fun riding him. We are working on our canter serpentines and simple changes. Next month I am riding second level for the first time. I hope I get qualifying scores! Basically, I better not make an error on the test. That tends to be how I lower my scores. Jimmy scores pretty well on his movements, so it does mostly come down to rider error.

I'd like to design a computer program for practicing dressage tests. Something that will let me control a horse figure around an arena in a test pattern, or will let me type in the movements in order, or let me draw each movement on an arena. That would be very helpful for me to memorize the major movements and sequences. If only I had more free time. Yeah, my free time has pretty much gone out the door since getting a second horse.

Oh yeah, I start Pilates lessons on Thursday with my husband and I am doing a Yoga Fitness class Tuesday evenings. Add that to my dog training club classes on Mondays and Tuesdays. No wonder my house is a mess. And I am supposed to run a half-marathon in January.

No comments: