Eva, her mom, and her baby sister had come out to visit Reno and I met them at the barn. This is the first time that her family has met our boys since the live on the coast (and lets be real-- who comes HERE to visit when they live THERE?). I'm pretty sure they were impressed by my lovely boy (who wouldn't be?). I digress slightly to say that the farrier came out on Wednesday and said our hooves are looking good and he noted how much wider G-man has gotten through the ribs.
Any-whoo, I got on with the intention of only quickly putting him through his paces, since it was still very hot. I didn't bother with my half chaps and just rode in jeans and paddock boots (I once had a trainer who wouldn't let me ride in anything else-- said it would teach me to keep my leg from moving... and it worked). Granite felt surprisingly energetic and forward at the trot. I was really pleased with the way he was giving to the bit. After a few laps around of trot and some nicely executed walk to trot transitions, I asked for the canter. We are still at the point of literally running into a canter, but I'm ok with it considering we have only had a canter for a few weeks. But yesterday, it wasn't happening. We FINALLY got into a canter and then we passed the gate. And we slammed. on. breaks. ARGH! Not OK Granite. So, we tried again. And again. Then-- we went into meltdown mode. He coiled up (its my best description-- everything gets really tight and compressed and I can't get him to unwind and move forward) and didn't even want to give me a decent trot. Then he didn't want to walk. His head would go one way, his butt the other and when I corrected, it would switch. It was bad. So, I regrouped and decided the canter was NOT going to happen, but we would end on a positive note. So, we backed up. And we halted. And we finally walked forward. Then we backed up again... and so on and so forth. I had to go from nice springy forward trot at the beginning of our session to glacial speed walk... but he answered my 'question' correctly and thats what I needed out of him before I got off. I figured that it was hot and when he wasn't getting that canter and I kept asking, that he really just got too frustrated to comprehend what I wanted and broke down. I am really proud of the way I handled it. As type A as I am, I normally would have really turned it into a huge issue and spent the next 1.5 hours pushing it. But,when I realized it was a lost cause, I let it go and started asking something he could answer to build some confidence before calling it a night.
On a more positive note: You know I found my camera. Well, I'm going to mail it to my mom so she can have a digital of her own. I needed to clear off the pics I had before I mailed it, so I downloaded them this morning. They are the photos from my very first ride on Granite! I'm in Becky's western saddle and you can totally see A) me leaning back to push for a walk with every stride and B) my perpetually loosey goosey 'grip' on the reins. BUT-- it was a momentous moment and I'm so glad that I found the documentation... so, here they are:
(note me leaning back and PUSHING him forward)
Note my hands (its ALWAYS been my worst flaw-- even before I started showing QH circuit)
I hope you all have a happy weekend. I have to wait tables tonight (grrr-- and we have a staff meeting which I am sure will be jammed pack with yelling and degrading-- what FUN times!), but after I ride and run tomorrow, I am heading up to the mountains to meet TK and his family/friends for the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. I am camping saturday night! I DONT camp... ever. And men in kilts?? Notsomuch.... But alas, I really really like TK and these shenanigans are important to him and his family and after MUCH coercing from everyone involved, I agreed to go up for one night. I figure I can handle being un-showered for 36 hours. The event is 4 days long, I guess I can hack a day and a half. So, wish me luck. If you are lucky, I may provide photographic evidence of prissy rachel not only camping, but gallivanting with kilted men and people eating turkey legs (god help me-- I am NOT ready for this).