Monday, 20 October 2014

It's Not Me, It's You

That's what I think Bridget would say sometimes if only I'd listen :)

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.
Rock star

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!
I'm so pleased with this instructor - I'm thinking more and more about bringing Ginger along in the future because she seems to have the teaching style we both need..I'm honestly getting a little bored with the safe little routine I have when riding the big mare. I think I am ready for some challenges! Who would have thought that would ever happen again?

10 comments:

  1. CJF used to refer to Connor as the "King of Trantering", and I know EXACTLY what that pile of legs feels like. It does get better, very very slowly, but it gets better. And it's definitely not all you!

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    1. You guys are my inspiration - I remember your posts about his canter and now look at you!

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  2. Sounds like a good lesson, don't be too hard on yourself

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    1. Thanks, it was. As always, I am just impatient to be better! :)

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  3. she's doing so well!!! and i wouldn't worry too much about the trainer getting better results - after all, don't we pay the trainers because they're professionals?? i should hope they've got some special skills that will hopefully be imparted to us mere mortals :)

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    1. Of course you're totally right :) It's like we discussed in the "Fit To Ride" post - the mental game is where I can really let myself down. I can honestly say I've never been disappointed in any of the horses I've had - but myself? That's a struggle and a half!

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  4. We're always in a rush to get it right, but if you work it the right away, you won't have to fix it. It sounds like you've got a good plan with your trainer so don't be too hard on yourself. You'll get it and it WILL be perfection ;)

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    1. Thank you for the cheerleading! This blog has the best readers :)

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  5. Don't be so harsh on yourself, you guys are doing amazing together for a partnership that is less than 2 months old.
    When I first got Nancy she was very imbalanced in her canter work and couldn't figure out where to put her legs. So i rarely cantered under saddle & lunged her a couple times a week so that she could find her feet without my imbalance & uncertainty throwing her off. We also did canter work while trail riding, little to no pressure to be balanced for corners etc...Plus her getting stronger overall helped her figure it all out.
    Don't panic, you guys are doing awesome and will get there in no time at all. I wish I could do half the things you guys do!
    Leg yields & haunches in...I've never learnt to do them - so don't attempt them for fear of stuffing up!

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    1. Awesome suggestions re: lunge work and trails :) And thank you for the wonderful reply, nice to know others have been there too! I think I may need to write a follow up 'canter' post. I think I'm figuring out where I am going wrong in my thinking.
      Re: lateral work - we're just doing baby stuff, my leg yields right now are 1 stride forward on the quarter line, then 1 over, then a big release and praise and forward, repeat until we're all bored :) Same with haunches in/shoulder in, just mostly a stride or two here and there then forward for a few and lots of pats!

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