After the usual free lunge warm up, we tacked up with the home-made bareback pad and got to work starting with walk/trot working up to canter. Quest was a superstar and gave me the best western jog ever so that I could really focus on my balance without feeling like I was about to break in half afterwards. I have mild scoliosis- it doesn't bother me for the most part but it does get rather painful when the weather gets humid (and keeps me from ever living in places like Florida). My back used to get sore when I first started riding but as I've gotten more proficient at using my core muscles, I've been pretty much pain-free for the most part.
After doing a ton of trotting we moved into cantering, first on my better side then switched to my weaker side for the majority of the workout. This session was the second time that I ever cantered bareback so I worked on moving with the initial beats when sitting the canter since I often bump around for a couple steps bareback until I catch the familiar rocking motion. My typically very opinionated and fussy mare who has a certain time-limit tolerance for arena work was remarkably patient with letting me figure things out as we did what felt like a million circles in the indoor section of the arena. I did finally get the hang of it and ended the night being able to canter bareback with one hand on the reins AND on my bad side, yay.
The next day, A and Smokey decided to visit us from the main barn so we could all ride together. We were due to get some snow later on in the morning so we opted to stay indoors and do a group bareback arena ride.
|All together! Caly, Quest, Nutmeg, and between ears Smokey|