Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Get a Mental Picture

We were able to ride both Saturday and Sunday. Dusty had had a couple of weeks off while Ranae was on vacation and he was feeling good.

Saturday's ride was a tune-up. We rode to our usual place to see how the horses were doing. It was hot, but we still did some loping, steering, and flexing exercises.

On Saturday night I showed Ranae some of the stuff on the August NWC dvd and then on Sunday morning, while we were having breakfast we watched the beginning with Clinton and Shana warming up their horses.

It's amazing the effect this has on our rides. I thought I had noticed it before, and Sunday confirmed it. By watching just 15 minutes of Clinton and Shana working before we rode, we had a plan and a fresh mental picture of some of the things we wanted to do on our ride.

In reflecting on the ride over a cocktail in the garden Sunday afternoon (a tradition - it's like breaking down game film) we realized that we rode out with purpose. We had conviction in what we were asking. Granted we may not have had the cues or timing perfect, but we knew what we were looking for and kept after it until we go it. Ranae said Dusty had the smoothest, most comfortable lope she could ever remember, on both leads no less. I had Jessie backing up more smartly and I think our collection was better. We worked on stops and she improved in just ten minutes or so.

One of the things we liked about Sunday's ride was the path we took. It's about a ten minute walk to one field where we warmed up for about 15 minutes. Then, it's a 15 minute walk to another field with a little better footing and we could work again. Given a couple of chances to do the same exercises in one ride was extremely beneficial.
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