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I was on vacation for two weeks prior to this, where the only riding I did was a trail ride at Bryce Canyon, where I had the fun experience of riding down into the canyon, on a horse named Coyote.  I’d definitely recommend trail riding there; the horses were in good condition, and seemed to have good careers there–I was told Coyote had been doing it for 6 years! 

So I came home, worked the weekend, and had rides Monday that were less than spectacular (apparently the princess does not approve of working while her friends are being turned out) and Tuesday that was solidly good.  Then Wednesday evening at work, I came down with food poisoning and went home, and was out sick on Thursday as well.  I had a lesson with Kelley scheduled for today, and if I didn’t have a show on Sunday, would probably have cancelled it.  But I sucked it up, and went out to ride, because we definitely need a tuneup prior to showing.

I’m really glad I quashed the nausea and headed out to the barn, because we ended up having a very simple but very good lesson.  Just staying on a 20M circle, working on asking for inside flexion, then staying soft soft SOFT through my arms, and not getting into a pulling match on the left side, where she likes to lean and I like to lock my elbow.  (Gee, maybe that’s related!)  We actually had some really good work, including some pretty nice canter.  The trot was especially nice.  I really just need to work on keeping my reins much, much shorter than I seem to realize I need to, and not let them slip, when I can do that and keep my elbows soft, we actually go quite nicely.  If I can get her that soft on my own on Sunday, I think we can probably improve our scores by 2 points or so.

Sunday’s ride times, at By Chance, better than the last show.  10:30 rather than 8, so that means waking up merely early, at 6 or so, rather than the predawn 4 the other weekend.  I can handle that much better.  There are 5 rides on our division of USEA Test of Choice rides, so hopefully we’ll be in, ridden, and scored by 11AM, and back on the road by 11:30 or so, hopefully with something pretty to show for our efforts. 

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