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Selena Ride 12: The Great Outdoors

August 19, 2009

"You're back in Jersey? Ohhh, that's FUNNY!"

Monday, 8/17/09

Here in New Jersey, the dog days of summer have been more like medium-sized spaniels. Even the hottest days are not so bad this year. The sun is strong but there have been very few truly unrideable days. Flies, mosquitoes, and ticks are ugly, but the heat itself is bearable, especially since I normally ride at night :^)

Selena’s heat cycle appears to be calming down and she was perfectly responsive and sweet during our ride. I rode her under the lights in the big outdoor arena- I thought about riding indoors but it was too cool and nice outside. There were a few bugs biting but we dealt with it. We did a long walking warmup with leg yields and circles, followed by work at the trot. We worked on three-, four-, and five-loop serpentines, as well as “skinny” serpentines (riding the long sides and turning at the ends).

While I am working on Selena, I am also working on my own riding. I can feel a lot of weakness in my legs and seat, especially when we are riding at a big working trot in the big arena. When my riding improves, Selena also improves. At the end of the ride, I worked on a 20+ meter circle on a long rein, asking for her to stretch down into the bit. It was humorous at first, with her keeping her head the same the whole way around, not taking contact and not stretching. I sat, waited, and kept riding. Kept riding. Kept riding. Seat, leg, hip. Loosened the spine. Aligned the shoulders. Tempo, tempo, tempo. And WHEW, her neck stretched out the right way, down and relaxed.

Hooray! I am getting her supple and she is getting me fit- it’s a good match :^)

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