Aria’s Homecoming Part I

I was planning to have a lesson on Saturday and Sunday but when I tried to nail down a time it turned out that P and R were not working on Saturday because they were going to a waterpark. How fun! I took the opportunity to hit up a couple friends in LA and see a showing of Wonder Woman. Totally worth it and a better idea than riding horses both days because it was 90 over the weekend and I think I ended up at least 2-3 makeup shades darker than I started on Sunday. Which reminds me, I absolutely need to get a couple sun shirts this week, but I digress.

OMG. Look at that big old T-Rex head. No wonder she’s my smallest horse but wears the largest bridle.

Alex offered to join me to get Aria, which was nice because hauling alone can be lonely. Not that I don’t mind the quiet time after a lesson to process and reflect but it was nice to have the company and the chance to share my barn and horse with another blogger. Alex has already met Ben, Valeria, and Catalina so the last one to meet was Aria. I don’t want to play favorites but Aria Catalina is the best.

We got up there around 9:30am and it was already warming up but wasn’t too bad. I wasn’t sure what the plan was for the day except that I was going to work with R on obstacles. I grabbed Aria. She had been sleeping in her pee—so attractive—but didn’t have shavings in her mane and tail which was a first. Grooming was quick work and I took a damp sponge to her face and body to minimize her stinkiness. She’s definitely getting a bath today.

If only she’d square like that when we practice for dressage tests.

She kind of didn’t engage with us during her grooming. Not normal for her personality but once I led her out of the barn she perked up and said hello by bumping my arm with her nose. I’m going to chalk it up to her being pissed about all the breeding that is going on around her. She really wants to fight those mares for a turn with Hans. What. A. Hussy. Haha!

I led Aria out to the arena and started saddling. Aria has turned into a cinchy horse so I didn’t go too quickly. I’m going to have to find out if it’s just being cinched that is pissing her off or if there’s something else bothering her, like soreness or internal troubles.

Working on long and low.

I thought I might be riding but P wanted to show me how Aria had been working for her. That made sense. I should know where she is in her training so I know what to expect from her. Aria looked great, even from the week before. It’s usually very obvious when Aria has had a day off between rides because she starts off very fresh and takes more time to get supple but she was pretty on it and dialed in.

They started working on the lunge line to get warmed up but it didn’t take long because, again, Aria felt good and was in the mood to work. P had Aria stretching to the ground at the walk, trot, and canter. Seeing the stretch at the canter was new for me and I kind of loved it because I know it’s not easy to push from the rear when going long and low. I also know how hard it is for Aria to keep forward momentum while stretching. It was nice to see all that effort.

Flex that T-Rex head!

Then P got on and did some flexion. Aria has been struggling with this exercise because she wants to go-go-go when you get on but it requires that she stands still. They worked on that for a few minutes until Aria gave in, stood still, and stopped rooting for the bit. Then they backed up in a circle. This is an excellent exercise because it’s not that easy to navigate a horse moving in reverse but it directly applies to a good many obstacles in working equitation. I could tell they were working on that a lot because Aria is starting to pack on hindquarter muscle. It makes her look less yoked.

She gave an amazing working trot that even P got excited about because she hadn’t felt that level of movement from Aria before. This was the first time I’ve seen P do so much sitting trot work. It was great because it shows an increase in stamina for Aria. She also held herself together really well and powered down the long sides in a nice shoulder in and shoulder out.

you_doodle_2017-06-07t02_54_20z

My new favorite view.

The counter canter wasn’t as good as we’ve seen in the past but it did offer up several nice flying changes, so there was no complaint from us. She really brought her A game for this ride. Her gaits were great. I kind of felt bad that I was taking Aria home because P always says how much she enjoys riding her and that ride really did show it. It does motivate me though. I can’t wait to have what P and Aria have for myself.

I’ll save the training session with R for the next post because this post is already long enough!

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12 thoughts on “Aria’s Homecoming Part I

  1. It sounds like things are going really well. One thing I do to prevent any behaviour when I cinch is to go slowly (like you) and to give a carrot/apple/cookie when I tighten it for the first time. I want my horse to associate the cinching positively.

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