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Today, in the rain, I rode Rafi in the double. It’s been a long time. I’d say around 2002 or 3. I had ridden Charly, my first dressage horse, a bit in it. And then the crazy, dangerous chestnut, Indy that I had imported from Germany {and sent back five months later…I really didn’t want to sell him on and then hear about deaths!}. So this was a relatively big deal for me!

Rafi was very interesting in her response to her mouthful of metal. On one hand, freeing up her poll and asking for her to be up in the bridle was certainly easier. But getting her sufficiently forward with this amount of roundness and collection was tougher. I could feel her nearly saying, “I know what you want but I can’t quite get my hind legs to push forward at this level of collection.” We solved it by using lots of lateral work to free up the shoulders and give her a place to “go” to.  Leg yield, a little neck reining, shoulder fore, turn on the fore hand, turn on the haunches, eventually shoulder in and half pass began to do the trick. She found her impulsion from all these movements….I simply yielded and straightened every time she figured it out! The power I could receive into my hands was very like piaffe and very, very addictive!

She was a trooper about it as we discussed  and worked together.  Me? I was contending with all that leather!!! I have very small hands and small, short fingers….kind of like a child’s. The whip was a pain in the neck, frankly. I wore no spurs and Rafi kept blowing off my left leg. In the snaffle I can relatively quickly switch the whip over…..But with two sets of reins? I don’t think so!!!

I did try a few times but decided the hell with it, time to take my more independent seat and leg out for a spin. I simply, with great determination, did not let Rafi off the hook in responding to that left leg as I changed from bend, to leg yield to half pass and back again. At the end she was really respecting that leg!  And I’m a bit sore tonight from the effort. But I figure, someday there will be a championship class for us {a girl can dream!!!} and I can’t carry a whip then, so may as well practice!

Tomorrow is “Show Boots Thursday.” I so procrastinate breaking in new boots! I’ll also put my spurs on now that the hole in my ankle is nearly healed. I have boney ankles and never wear spurs. For the show I did….hurts like the devil! But once a week, I’m putting them on for practice. I figure the new boots will torture me anyway, so I may as well put the spurs on and get the pain over with all in one ride. Eventually I will also wear them with the double. But I want to be a bit more adept with the curb before I do!

Looks like I have to buy another double now. Callista is showing Fourth and hopefully, Rafi and I will get there this year. Callista’s curb is a bit small for Rafi and sooner or later both horses will be at a show where they both need the double anyway…Aaaahhh horses….you always are paying for something!