You'll be relieved to know that after all my whining over the past couple of days, I had the most incredible lesson tonight. Ginger is still a basket case and Bridget isn't much better, so I was totally at my wits end. I tacked up Bridget, thinking at least she's smaller to fall from :)
Once again, her mind was completely blown the minute we ventured off the property. So odd, but this time I was prepared and pony got to do all the lateral work down the road. She was pissed and was already quite sweaty just from the stress of walking that little way. I arrived at the arena a bit early and thought I might let her hand graze and chill out, but she was bargey and pushy and not overly interested. Instead, I took her to the outdoor and longed her a bit in a bid to remind her of her manners. Guess what? Pony can canter circles on a longe in both directions, no problem. She can scream the whole time too, and counterbend if you let her. She just can't walk apparently. She's been lying to us!
|Save me from myself|
When S showed up at the appointed time, we moved to the indoor. And baby pony instantly got her mind back. I wonder if it's because it's enclosed and 'safe', or maybe the mirrors led her to believe she had a cute friend. Maybe my longing took the edge off. No clue, but the difference in her demeanor was instant.
S hopped on and immediately was like "This is amazing! It's like riding a different horse!"I had told her Bridget's anxiety had led to a ton of forward but I'm not sure she believed me :) She rode around with a huge grin on her face, and I couldn't help but be amazed that my little Bridget pony was looking so FANCY. I hopped on and had the best lesson I think I may have ever had. Maybe it's because the contrast between the awfulness of even an hour before was so strong, but I don't think so. I think this lesson is a standout in any context. Pony used all that drama she's been full of and funneled it so we had all the forwards. And when you have all the forwards, everything is easy! We successfully added haunches in at the trot, we did zig zags, shoulder in, and spirals. We tried out a medium trot across the diagonal, and there were a few strides of legit awesomeness. So rewarding to feel all those things we've been picking away at come together. We played for a bit like that, but rather than nit pick things continually, we just encouraged her to move out at the trot on various patterns. I think the cloverleaf is my new favorite - lots of room for pony to move out, but she needs to bend and stay off the rail too. We did some great canter transitions and I was very proud of her. When she started to tire a bit, we called it good in hopes of keeping her feeling like she had fun. I looked at the clock and a full hour had gone by, and pony still had lots in the tank. I've been selling myself short on the pony fitness front!
So, I got my wish of a Ginger/Bridget hybrid ride. All the forward and work ethic without the spooky silliness. And it was as incredible as I hoped. Even if I can never recreate the amount of impulsion and attitude baby pony came with today, I will just appreciate this one ride. I can remain inspired :)
|How I wish I had pictures of my ride tonight. Instead, I have a picture of Ginger eating and drinking, which is probably better given her recent hunger strike.|
*Yes, 'amazingness' isn't a real word according to spell check, but the only suggested substitute is 'manginess' so I'm keeping it as is.