Long overdue Ranger recap, but I had a crappy lesson last month (?) that fried my brain (first lesson in the indoor of the winter) then skipped a week, had a fabulous lesson 3 week ago (outside! that I never actually got around to blogging about because I’m lazy and well, work took over my life and I decided to blog about something else and then I sort of forgot), went on vacation, then I was sick last week and cancelled, and that brings me to last night and I FINALLY rode!
And needless to say, Ranger was NOT happy to see me. It’s not that Ranger doesn’t like me. I think he does. And I may still be his favorite. But, Right. At. The. Moment. I put him in cross ties, Forrest and Elliot walked past him to go outside and his entire world turned upside down. From that moment on, he was miserable and made sure I knew it. He wanted me to know that he NEEDED TO BE OUTSIDE WITH HIS FRIENDS. There was no consoling him. I stuffed treats in his mouth (temporarily helped), but the pawing, oh the pawing. The attitude, oh the attitude. He was informed by my trainer’s husband that we all need to work for a living and then we lamented that adulting sucks…
Meanwhile, I managed to get the Ranger Beast tacked up. I was so thrilled that I EASILY found a 46″ girth only to find that someone put on weight and it came no one close to fitting. WTH Ranger? It’s only been 3 weeks… It’s not like you haven’t been ridden… So I had to seek out a 48″. (On a side note, I can’t talk, I often have to squeeze Batty into his 52″ double elastic girth).
Once in the indoor (he tried to drag me to his field rather rudely), the attitude continued. We worked on manners until he would stand at the mounting block. He took offense to being in the ring and to the the lunge whip my trainer had for the little kid on Raisin… We started power trotting around the ring until I noticed my stirrups were crazy long, well, 1 hole too long. WTH? I haven’t ridden since last lesson so how did they drop a hole? After that adjustment which Ranger so rudely didn’t want to stand still for, we went back to power trotting. We attempted a halt and back. Halt was fine, back DID NOT EXIST. We continued power trotting with the understanding that he could trot as fast as his desired down his long sides to get out some energy… Eventually we walked. We also tried to add leg to avoid bowing in at on the sides. “Tried” because I don’t think I had any real leg…
Eventually we cantered and he was… a perfect gentleman? No power canter, no pulling towards the gate, nothing. Just maintained a perfect forward, but steady pace. Considering his performance at the trot, we were not expecting that. He was lovely. Got to love him. Maybe he got over being in the ring and not in his field?
We started over fences with a small single fence off of a tight turn around to a long ride (around the first jump of the outside line) down to our straw bales. Having not jumped in weeks, I told Ranger to take care of me. I was told the first turn was hard, so as I cantered past trainer (the end of the ring has a fence/viewed area where trainer coaches from) I needed to look at fence and turn with both hands but not to worry about being perfect. Last lesson in the indoor Ranger was ducking out of everything (after we did the super hard stuff — that he was perfect for, singles, lines, nope. There we struggled so my confidence was shot and we had some similar problems last year. Plus indoors just feel small) and I don’t love riding inside. I probably shouldn’t have worried. The turn was easy (I guess if someone says a turn is hard its not, the easy ones are hard) and then Ranger had pace coming out of it that once we got our simple change (he was more interested in doing front changes and ignoring me), we could maintain our pace thanks to his motor. Spot wasn’t perfect for the straw bale jump, but it was nice enough.
Next course we took the grey single the opposite direction (coming towards the fence) and then continued to the outside line in a 7 and then around to the straw bale jump. First time through I landed from the grey single and sort of cut my corner causing me to leave out 2 strides and slow down to the outside line. I was also nervous because I’m me and we struggled with ducking out last time inside and the the line was actually big. But, it was fine and I marched him up for a nice 7 because I’m too good at correcting lines (my second jump is generally nicer because of this…). Straw bale just was the nicest of the night as I really moved him up.
Needless to say, we redid that to focus on the damn corner after the grey jump so I could fix the in of the line. By forcing him out, I got my extra strides, but I did have to be cautious about not letting him drift too far and turn too late (almost happened, but didn’t). The in was nice and I didn’t actually have to do anything for the out of the line. The 7 was just there. Amazing how much less work lines are when you ride in nicely… The straw bales were fine, but less nice than the perfect jump the time before.
We ended there as I was dead (I mean, no riding for weeks) and Ranger was basically done. But he got lots of (unappreciated) hugs and I stuffed him full of treats. I turned him out my light of my cell phone and I was pleased that he returned to the fence to see me (and make sure I wasn’t feeding Elliot his treats)