Mutual Progression

At the risk of being a broken record, I must say Q has been out of this world. We have to consider where he began. The first time I rode the little guy he would –

  • Be incredibly behind your leg, borderline catatonic
  • Not engage his hind end (weak, plodding tracking, see point above)
  • Crane his head and chomp on bit
  • Aggressively pop his shoulder to the left
  • Fall in through any inside turn (see point above)
  • Lean heavily on your hand
  • Refuse to do walk to canter transitions
  • Fall and stumble on downward transitions

Now, hold on, I am not saying I am the savior that fixed these problems. Far from it. Nor am I saying that all these symptoms are fixed.

However, I cannot believe the horse I sit on when I ride this week as compared to the one I rode a couple months ago. With a good farrier and regular work under non-beginner-lesson students, Q has so much more balance and strength to each of his gaits.

Truly, cantering up to jumps is enjoyable (and not feeling as if we are in reverse, on a treadmill).

Night rides help, or so I think.

I have also come a long way with Q, as lord knows, he is not the only one with issues to unpack. I am a leaning, fingers-opening, shoulder hunching monster at times. His balance question marks have instilled a center of gravity that is deep in my heels, rather than pinching in my knees as I am occasionally known to do.

His slower pace transformed by aggressive “get ‘er done” tactics with relaxation and nuance.

It’s a wonderful thing – to do right by each other – and in that way I truly feel as though we are partners.

I call Phoebe, Q can be Rachel.

This weekend should finally mark a jumping lesson. I am looking forward to hopping over some fences for the first time in over a month (darn, rain).

How have you all progressed over winter?

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