We went to visit Koda & Nemo today, and much to our surprise, we rode! We didn't have our tack with us, so we borrowed theirs - except for our bridles which stay with our horses. Our short lunge warm up felt a bit awkward to me, but then again it usually does. Once my butt hit that saddle it was smooth sailing, literally.
The four of us (Nemo & Brad and Koda & I) walked & trotted around, and got reacquainted while mounted. November felt like such a long time ago. Patty said I looked really good. I didn't think I was doing anything special, just riding in pure contentment. Maybe I don't give myself enough credit, or she was just being nice. Regardless, it caught me by surprise. Patty was super excited for me to lope Koda, so I did. I wasn't sure what to expect, but he effortlessly moved forward for me like a big boy. He felt really different. Koda was more level, riding smoother, and just seemed more confident and willing in his movement in general. My boy is growing up. She was very proud of him, and how well he moved out for me. Me too. Koda was amazing, it was SO much fun!
Brad had a good ride on Nemo, he was also moving out well in the lope. I stopped riding so I could watch them, and learn. I tried so hard to see when Nemo's frame was right, but it all looked the same to me. It's been explained to me before, but not the way Patty did. She made four footprints in the sand. With her body, she showed/explained how when the movement comes from behind, the back foot lands where the front foot was, and the body engages (somewhat lowered) powered from behind. I could see that, even in her human body. Then she planted her foot midway, to illustrate the difference of where they were last year. We talked about how that causes them to land, and the shoulder action. Now I could see their body movement is completely different. We all agreed the change is more significant on Koda. Wish I could have watched us too.
Trainer Patty also mentioned how the flow of energy that comes from behind, should come through the body, and effortlessly continue out their head. But without flowing movement, it gets blocked by their shoulder and the energy goes down, creating choppy moves. Whew, I'll have to keep working on the frame and looking for movement thing.
I also learned how to start a spin. Nemo & Brad made it look easy, it wasn't. I hopped off Koda, and Patty got on to show me what Koda was suppose to be doing, as well as what I was suppose to be doing. He wasn't being very cooperative, even for Patty, and I had it all wrong. I was bending him (old habits die hard) and didn't put the "stopping the forward movement, and turn cue" together at the right time. We tried again, this time with a soft arc, making a circle smaller and smaller, stopped the movement forward, cued, started to spin - and walked off. At least I got the "rollback" feeling a couple times, and we called it good. The boys are still learning to spin, me too. First time I've ever tried.
We untacked, and went in to the heated barn to warm up and talk about some up coming shows, and trail trips to look forward to. I could tell Patty didn't want us to leave, we really enjoy each others company, but it was time for us to go. She had other clients waiting for her. Funny part was, I brought a video camera, my good camera, and my pocket camera - all ready to capture Koda & Nemo in action - and didn't take a single picture. I am happy to say I was living it, instead of watching it through a lens.
After making plans for our next visit with Patty, I came around the corner and found Brad petting Koda...awwe, I whipped out my pocket camera and at least got a couple stall pictures to share. It was a happy day!!
|Koda, after our training ride. |
Wishing Brad would keep petting him.
|Nemo, after our training ride. |
Not the best picture of him, but I didn't want to leave the big guy out.