While spring is definitely my favorite season, I also (secretly) love fall. Sure, fall means back to school and the unfortunate transition to winter, which includes chillier weather and shorter days. But, I love the fall colors and all the ripe fruit, etc. And it doesn't hurt that I have a fall birthday either :)
Today was one of those beautiful fall days. It started out chilly this morning, but after class the sun came out and it started to warm up. It didn't reach the 80 degrees predicted, more like 70, but it was perfect. I went to the farmers market this morning and bought some veggies. I love that I live in an area where things like this is popular as I like supporting the local farmers. Afterwards I went out and saw my pony. I didn't go yesterday because I already had too many things to do. I really should take my real camera with me next time because the scenery on the drive out is gorgeous.
She was awesome. A little more fresh and sassy, but I didn't ride her yesterday and she didn't get turned out yet. She had just been put out when I got there. I finally got to meet someone at the barn. I still think it's weird that I've never seen anyone out there, but that's fine by me. I met the stall cleaner this morning. She seems really nice and talkative :)
Jetta was soft and steady in the bridle, forward but not rushing, her back was loose. She was balanced and it felt so good! Someone left some poles and cones in the arena for practicing trail - I actually love it when people leave stuff in the arena because then I get to play with it without the issue of getting it out then putting it away. I practiced my "bridle-less" riding where I drop my reins to the buckle and steer Jetta with just my legs and seat. She's so good at it and I had fun with it today, weaving in and out of the cones, walking and trotting into the "box" and making her halt, etc.
We worked a lot on trot-walk downward transitions. She was coming above the bit and hollowing her back when I asked for a walk and with her, it's such a delicate balance between not enough leg to keep her together through the transition and too much leg and she'll just keep trotting, albeit more slowly. She eventually got it and we had some very nice transitions.
We only had one little snafu where she was being so good that I thought "Why don't I ask for a canter from the walk?" This hasn't been something we've practiced at all since I don't want Jetta anticipating and I don't think she's quite ready for it. We've done it at shows and such but never really at home. Anyways, I broke Jetta's cardinal rule about not moving my leg back. I always thought it was silly when a clinician would tell me not to put my leg back on a mare because I was riding Jazz and she could care less. It wasn't until Jetta that I discovered that some mares really do care. She kicked up at my leg and didn't even put in an effort to canter so I corrected her (then she tried to bite me, naughty mare) and tried again minus moving my leg back. She was on the bit, relaxed but good energy for a transition, stepping under herself and... she kicked up again. Finally on the third try she leaped into the canter without kicking up. Despite being the ugliest transition ever, once in the canter she softened on the bit and slowed down and gave me a really lovely canter. I made her canter for a while and it ended up being a good note to end on. She had worked hard after her bad behavior so I had to forgive her :)
I think it's probably time though to at least work on the walk-canter transition a little more. I will have to dig up my dressage whip, I think that might be a big help! And hopefully this weekend I'll bring up my jumps and we can work on getting the correct leads with them as that's another big goal.