Lesson day dawned windy and rainy, as seems to be the norm around here. Since I'm putting forward an effort to be tougher than the weather, I didn't give in to my desire to cancel or postpone so I could stay warm and dry and/or sleep in.
|No sunshine today. Also the reason the majority of my photos from today turned out too dark to use.|
As with every ride, I have no regrets about getting in the saddle and we had a lot of fun.
We started off with some basic stuff at the walk. Pony can do a haunches in now, yay! Opposite to some, she really wants to offer up her shoulders and has a tougher time with the hindquarters, so I was pretty happy with her today.
Trot work went fine, just worked on getting her stretching over her back and then did some baby leg yields. She was great and is getting so much better about regulating her pace on her own. Fingers crossed, my nagging days are coming to an end.
All in all, she's a very well rounded girl for only having 6 weeks under saddle. But we do have our issues - the canter today was a big mess, as in I could only get a few strides here and there and we also managed to forget about steering and sideswipe the fence in a big way :( I was so disappointed in myself because she spooked at that and scooted forward into a nice forward canter, but I got left behind and jammed on her mouth for a couple of strides - the exact opposite of what I needed to do! I felt like I was just off today as far as any timing and riding kinda crappy, making things harder for her than I needed to.
|Pic from a couple of weeks ago but I feel like there was a lot of this today!|
Instructor S then got on and rode and had to work for it, but got a forward canter both directions for a lap or two. I wish I was that solid of a rider that I could sit all that uncoordinated mess quietly and make it look so easy! Bridget was of course all over the place as far as leads and where her legs were, there was a bit of 'trantering' and some cross firing until she got herself sorted - we wouldn't be getting very high marks for canter at a sport pony evaluation! Still, it was pretty cool to see from the ground and I remain optimistic that there is the potential for a cute canter hiding in there. It may not ever be her best gait, but it's there at least :) However, I think we've confirmed that at least some of the canter issues are definitely coming from me - she went way better for S than me. I'm trying to just objectively look at what I can do to improve and not get too down on myself. At least now I know she can do more than I'm settling for, so I have some further motivation.
We spent the rest of the lesson with about every pattern of trot poles you can imagine and she was completely been-there-done-that about all of it, even when we had up to 6 of them spaced to extend or compress her trot. Hard to believe it was only her second time with any of it, she got the idea very quickly and was locked on and taking me through with very little guidance needed on my part. She was careful and accurate too, so I have hopes that one day I'll have a cute little jumper pony. First though, we must canter!
|Random pic from our ride the other day. Our trails are mostly like this and I think maybe with all the roots and bits of unevenness she's inadvertently learnt to be a trot pole master!|