The topic of our ride tonight was -- as usual -- Contact With Bit. More to the point, Correct Contact. Rev can take contact just fine, but she prefers to do so with her nose way out in front of her, like a pony. This is something we're working on all the time.
We spent 30 minutes at the walk and trot with her basically saying "No! Don't wanna!" and me saying "Yes! Gonna! Oh wait, come back here!" until I steadied my outside hand enough, sat just right on my seatbones, and applied just enough leg. And then it was almost magic -- she rounded right down and walked out. Trotted out too. Sheesh. It's so easy when she stops arguing with me about it!! One of these days we won't have to have that argument every. damn. time. But until then, I guess I'll keep arguing. And practicing, so I don't have to hunt for the steady rein or the seatbones.
I probably need to make this the sole focus of my non-jumping rides for the next however long it takes, honestly. Until it becomes easy and second nature for both of us. Make it so that she stays in that good, round contact all the time, in transitions, at all three gaits, and in changes through gaits. Yep. That's what I need to do. Man, I don't want to have shoulder surgery now -- even though it's not til October, I don't want another break in training. I do kind of have to, though, because it could get much worse if I don't fix it. Alas.
Anyway, Rev was very forward today, with great energy. I was really pleased with her consistent answer to "more push behind." When we can consistently combine that push with the correct contact and roundness, that will be seriously, seriously impressive. I heart my little mare so much!
Looking forward to jumping this weekend! I'm going to be back in my usual lesson, with my lesson partner Linda. Another of our barn students will be in with us this weekend too -- heh, we're going to be playing with the big girls! I could opt for the less-big girls' lesson right after (what TD has named) the Ladies' Lesson, but nah. I want the challenge!
Rode in my Troxel this evening instead of my replacement Charles Owen. It's lighter, for sure, and more vented, but ... gah. It just feels so flimsy. Plus, the chinstrap has a really poorly placed pokey-bit that bugged me all the time I had the helmet on. I really just need to grab a can of hat spray and maybe one of those activated charcoal pouches and be done with it. Or maybe just wear the Troxel schooling and the CO for show? But my head isn't any less important while schooling than it is during a show, and I school way more often than show ... so might as well use the good stuff.
To add to my ever-present list of Things I Want To Upgrade, I think I want a set of half-chaps again. Or just a pair of Mountain Horse tall boots for winter. Or MH paddock boots and the half-chaps. The MH boots I have now are (hooray) starting to be kind of big through the lower calf and ankle. They slip! But they're still in super condition, so I am not going to replace them with another pair of tall boots. Half-chaps are another story.
So yeah. Add half-chaps to the list that already comprises a Five Star Tack Magnolia bridle, one set of black rubber reins, and one replacement set of brown rubber reins. And more FITS breeches. And I'm sure there are a bunch of other things. Oh, the hat spray, the charcoal pouch, and a Crown Royal bag for my clippers.