I know, I know -- I don't write, don't send flowers, don't call ... it's true. I've been working a lot lately, and since my only Internet access is at work, I don't have a lot of time to write.
BUT. Things continue to happen! We've had a couple of good lessons since the last post, one involving just canter poles on the ground, with the idea of teaching me how better to ride lines and how better to adjust Rev's stride as much as I can. The other was more jumping, and I learned a lot about where I need to put my body and how best to ride a line and ride a rhythm. There's way more to learn, but for now, this is going well.
I also broke down and scheduled a visit to a new chiropractor, because my balance and seatbones were getting worse than usual. When I fell and shattered my collarbone two Februaries ago, I landed hard on my hip right after I landed on my shoulder, and that messed up my hip and sacroiliac joint pretty well. Combined with 13 years of slightly off-balance walking due to an ACL replacement in my knee that never quite healed perfectly, that has caused me some real problems. Chiropractic and massage therapy (not the happy spa massages, either; the sports therapy ones) are the only things that really help, because my bones are just out of order and my muscles turn into concrete.
I think that a few weeks/months of chiropractic should take care of the nastiness in my hips for another year or so, and I'm really looking forward to working with this one. I feel better already, after this morning's appointment, and I was stunned at the x-rays he took. I hadn't had my hips x-rayed after the fall, and holy crap if my right hip isn't about an inch higher than my left. My spine is curved to compensate. BUT -- the good news is that the doc and I think it'll be relatively easy to fix. Which means I'll be able to use my hips and seatbones again to help Rev be straight on a line!
Which brings me to the next topic -- the latest Test of Choice night. Here's a post I made on the A Fat Girl and a Fat Horse forums:
So my little mare and I are working on getting dressage tests that involve cantering up to a presentable state. It's a little tough, because we haven't been working the canter all that long, only since about February or so.
We have Test of Choice nights at our barn every month, when people can come out and work any one or two dressage tests they want in front of a judge. It's non-competitive, just a chance for people to work on tests, whether they're not ready for a "real" show yet, just want to perfect a test they plan to show later, or want to work on the level they're wanting to move up to. We're in all those categories, but mostly the last one. So far, all we've been doing was Training Level Test 1, the simplest of all the Training tests.
We did it once before, in early April, and we got a 56 -- not successful, in my opinion. Reveille was tense, I was tense, I missed a canter depart, I didn't get all the way to the letters, and my circles were more like modern art than circles. My teacher's daughter, a teacher and Rolex rider herself, judged that test.
My teacher judged this round of ToC tests, and of course he's familiar with the two of us. Still ... we got a 63%!!! SIXTY THREE! On Training 1! That is my definition of a successful score -- 60% or above. :) Not necessarily a successful test in itself, but I'm pleased with the score.
Granted, Rev was counterflexed on the rail throughout the entire test, and we had a nasty loss of balance in the last turn to go up the centerline, but overall, it was a reasonable test.
Me being me, I suspect my teacher was a little too kind on my marks and that I didn't really deserve a 63, but ... I have some things to work on, and even I can say we improved from the last time we rode this test! Even if I suspect we'd have either been excused from the arena by a snickering line judge at a real dressage show or just given 3s and 4s. ;)
Well, okay, not 3s and 4s, but 5s and 6s, with one 7 for our free walk, which we've turned out to be good at.
Still, success! :D