Saturday, 7 March 2015

Times Two

We're continuing to enjoy completely unseasonal weather. Warm temps and sunshine means everyone is out mowing their lawns and the crocuses and cherry trees are blooming. I seriously need to get the garden started, but of course with weather like this I'm more apt to spend my days in the saddle than anywhere else!

Today, I was going to take Ginger out solo, but Midge barged her way into the barn behind us. I've mentioned before she's impossible to shoo out once she gets in, so by the time I got a halter on her I decided I might as well brush her too, which led to just dragging her along with us, which of course led to me riding her as well. Midge loves attention, so rather than the outing acting as a deterrant, I expect I only reinforced her desire to get into the barn!

Dual rock star poses! They're funny, they both park where I put them and make saddle swapping easy.
Ginger was good, although quite reactive. I think I didn't ride her as well as a couple of days ago...she wanted to give me some nice work but I don't think I gave her enough rein to start and she got a little fussy and stiff. I adjusted myself and got her going better, even though the left bend was not great. To address that, we did some modified figure eights at a trot - I kept her on the circle, spiralling in and out until she gave me a nice bend, then the reward was to switch to her 'good' side for a circle or two. We took a walk break with some leg yields and haunches in alternating with shoulder in because she finds that easy. We finished with some serpentines at a walk and trot. I didn't brave a canter today beyond a few strides down each long side.

Bridget was really good. Since she is opposite to Ginger in every way, her right side is the difficult side. We did the same exercises as with Ginger, although I kept the workload to a bare minimum and quit as soon as she offered what I wanted. We spent an additional ten minutes or so doing canter transitions. She's been quite tense about them again, so I'm back to asking for a nice transition, then a few strides and going back to trot - making it more about the transition rather than 'going fast' or 'doing a whole circle' or whatever's going on in pony brain to make her uptight :)
Big mare sadly lacking in the muscle tone category. Also, my saddle looks minature on her!

The big win of the day? I ponied Ginger back to the barn off of Bridget and they were wonderful. I won't lie - it feels pretty darn cool to ride one handed all western style with my second pony along for the ride. Midge doesn't quite neck rein, but she moves off my legs and seat well enough to easily steer and do a good job of being the pony horse. I just need to break out my western saddle to look truly legit ;)

15 comments:

  1. Love this! You are rockin' it!

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  2. Woohoo for ponying G, so much fun having both along for the spin ☺☺☺☺☺☺

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    1. It went way better than I thought it might! :)

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  3. Also, super random, I was browsing the BC Carriage Driving Society website and I found your girl's for sale ad from way back in June 2014!

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    1. I had to google it - so cool, I hadn't seen her ad before :)

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    2. Admittedly, I felt like a creeper. :P
      But to be fair, I was trying to find some driving info for Spud and ended up down a black tunnel of for-sale ads!

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    3. Ha ha, don't feel like a creeper, it was super neat to see her old ad and what they had to say about her! I'm also enjoying that website - I have some friends who are members and it's cool to see pics of them competing and articles about them!

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  4. So glad you're having nice riding weather! I love that first photo!

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    1. Thank you! I am so pleased I stayed home for spring this year!

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  5. seems like it would actually be kinda beneficial to have horses who are opposites when it comes to good and bad sides. i get so used to my mare's crookedness and we become a bit codependent, but maybe by switching between the two horses you are less likely to have that problem?

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    1. In theory, it should make you a better rider. In reality, I always feel slightly 'off' for the first few minutes after switching and confused as to why things are opposite! Riders who can ride multiple different horses well have my utmost respect!

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  6. I love that you bring both your ponies down to ride, and they are well behaved. It's so awesome! Two rockstar ponies is the best. :)

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    1. They complement each other well. Ginger appreciates Bridget's bravery and Bridget likes showing the boss mare around on our rides. I find it interesting that it's now carried over to the herd dynamic - they've recently decided to be best buds in the pasture too, and Bridget has moved up from the bottom of the herd to just under Ginger.

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  7. They are looking lovely and shiny! Ponying has been on my list for a while but I haven't gotten to it yet, good for you - sounds fun :)

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