A Ride on a Monday
I rode Ruby tonight and she was one huge bundle of freaky, bunched-up energy -- mostly because she didn't get ridden at all last week (I was on-call). After riding her around for a good while she finally settled down but was still on a hair trigger. I find one of my bigger challenges on rides like this is overcoming my own nerves and just getting down to the job and riding her through it. I think I did a good enough job of it tonight, although I probably should have ridden longer. One of the working students at the barn offered to ride her around for me first before I got on, but as nice an offer as that was, I declined because I really have to get over my own fears and get through this kind of thing on my own. I may not be the best rider, but I can usually handle this at least, I think I sometimes don't give myself enough credit in that regard. Anyway, Ruby is funny when she is this energetic too, she gets very fancy and tucked under, now if I could only replicate it during her calmer moments (without the freakiness).
While I was riding, I remembered another big takeaway from my lesson with Pat Spettel: my leg should always be long with heels stretched down. Now, I know this, of course. I've always known it. But she emphasized how whenever I feel my calf getting shorter, if my heel ever starts creeping up (and it does this quite a lot during the rides where Ruby has seemed to need a lot of leg) that I am not correct, I'm doing something wrong. So this is one of my first and biggest signals that I need to make an adjustment in my own riding in the moment that it happens. I just have to make sure that I'm aware of it when I'm doing it.
I can't believe that I forgot about this part of the lesson, but it came back to me while riding tonight. Now if I can just keep remembering it!