It is gorgeous in Georgia today- trees are at the height of their fall colors and the temperature is a perfect 65 degrees. I got a quick ride in, maybe 25 minutes, but like I promised in my last post, I ENJOYED it! I decided to work on rhythm and forget about riding the test patterns. I rode big circles around the outside of the ring and started out trying to get a steady walk rhythm. Someone left a very helpful comment on my post called “I Never Was Good at Geometry” and suggested singing to find the rhythm. I modified this and tried counting out loud. At the walk I said “1,2,3,4” steadily over and over. I have no problem finding the rhythm; I used to sing and play a little guitar. Communicating that rhythm to my horse is where I’m hitting a snag. So today I counted out loud and tried a little exaggerated hip movement with each beat. I “pushed” a little with my pelvis on each beat to try and get Baron to feel the tempo I wanted.
I think it worked quite well. My goal was to get one full circle with no variation in rhythm and we were able to do it several times. There were times when we lost it (he got distracted by the other horses off in the distance, he heard a car door slam, etc…) but we were able to maintain the rhythm for much more than a few steps. I was very pleased.
I tried the same thing at the trot as well. I counted “1,2,1,2” out loud and concentrated on posting to the count. We’re still kind of a mess at the trot, but we did get some sustained rhythmic trotting around the big circle. And then just for fun I cantered for a little while! There’s nothing like a good canter to end the weekend on a good note!