Once again, I declare that 20 meter circles are evil!  Evil I say!  Especially on a lazy horse. Why? Well, for the obvious reason…since I’ve been riding Thunder I haven’t had to do them. (Yah! Happy dance!) That is until this past lesson. My instructor is heading to Florida for the season and I was royally tortured. Something to remember her by, huh? <Grrrrr!>

Oh, how I cursed those circles under my breath. I cursed them trotting. I cursed them cantering and still my instructor demanded more!

Get to your touching points!   *Bleeping* touching points.
Don’t let your circle get smaller!   *Bleeping* 20 meter circle.
Activate the hind end!   *Bleeping* circle.
More outside rein!   Aaaaargh!

Interesting how much I blamed a poor, innocent and harmless circle. Did I blame my instructor? No. The horse? No. Myself? A little. That was the Aaaaargh! However, it’s been decided. It’s all the circle’s fault. Nothing can escalate my frustration faster then a 20 meter circle. The thought of quitting flitted across my mind as tears glimmered in my eyes. Yet I continued to ride that circle. It will not beat me!

Finally, we moved on to riding the quarter line in rising trot and leg yielding back to the track. As I entered the corner I asked for canter. The pattern was repeated again and again with varying results. Remember, I’m riding a lazy horse. I have to keep him in front of my leg but at the same time regulate the sideways and straight motions with the outside rein. Too much outside rein and he starts to slow down. The upward transitions into canter weren’t the best. I usually lost the outside rein contact because he’d back off. <Sigh.>

The finale? Doing the pattern in sitting trot. Ow, ow, ow… The fronts of my thighs are killing me. I’ll be amazed if I can even walk tomorrow.

Amazingly enough my instructor thought I really had him in the outside rein. I just need to work more on the canter transition.

Then I surprised both of us by announcing that I wanted to show in the spring. (Who said that? Me? Was that really me?) That is if she thought I was good enough and wouldn’t get laughed out of the arena.

The verdict? YES!

So, look for me at Beland this spring and pray that I can ride a *bleeping* 20 meter circle.

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