Monday, 13 April 2015

Progress

Now that Midge has decided cantering is a thing, with every ride she is showing huge improvements. She's finally able to canter and think about my aids all at the same time and she's getting really confident. After months of teeny baby steps, this is a huge treat!

I feel like her shape has changed substantially these past few months - she's much less the round thelwell and more the sporty Sec D, Will have to do a before and after. People have been commenting she looks like she's grown, but it's just her topline looking a little more impressive and her belly a little more toned, giving the illusion of longer legs/height.
 In an effort to be somewhat prepped for a show season, we returned to the ring today for another ride (also there is a hungry nasty cougar in the area and I'm paranoid he'll jump on us and bite me if I go on the trail alone. Irrational, but whatever - the ring is my happy place at the moment :)
Please no cougars here, thanks

I had planned on doing a bit of flatwork, but Midge warmed up so well and was so soft and responsive I kept it short so as to not bore her to death. I put my little jumps back up as a treat for her instead. We trotted them in a figure eight pattern. She's all about figuring out stuff like that so after about two reps she was trying to cut corners and take the direct route. So we had to pause for some proper 20 m circles and chill out a bit. Continuing on with her theme of being super agreeable, she immediately got the message and stopped trying to dart over at the crossrail after every turn, offering instead some of the nicest and softest 20m circles I've ridden on her. She was being really honest about staying where I put her, no bulging or falling in. As a reward, we returned to our little pattern and upped the ante by cantering out over the x. Pony was super smart about her leads, even the right one was no big deal. To keep it easy and positive for her, I asked for nice big canter circles around the jumps rather than our little figure eight and she happily obliged. At one point on a circle on her stronger side I felt her lock on to a jump and sort of offer to go there. Why not? I thought, and on the next pass I went a little wider and set her up a little more carefully and pony happily went across the diagonal and cantered her first baby crossrail. I was so pleased, particularly as she swapped leads over the fence and didn't try to rush after, thinking to continue our little figure eight pattern. I gratefully declined that offer and instead circled and let her know what a good pony she is, We ended on that excellent note :)
The obligatory posed pic

 For the record, I was thinking I'd send Midge to a pro to be started over fences once her canter was stronger. My experience jumping totals some local stuff as a teenager and 8 months of lessons last year. Obviously not a resume for starting baby ponies jumping. But I feel pretty darn comfortable right now and we have S on hand for lessons and help and riding if need be. The people around me seem to have faith in me, and I have faith in the pony, so for now she stays home and we remain in it together :)
Modelling the world's cheapest bridle :)

I do realize this has turned into Bridget's blog lately. Ms Ginger is doing just fine and enjoying the spring weather and pasture, along with her daily grooming. She also trotted out sound yesterday!  Now to find the motivation to get her going again for the eleventy billionth time. As you can see, she's looking for something to do :)

11 comments:

  1. This is super adorable news!! I love hearing about miss Bridget's progress and look forward to some comparison pics! I hope Ginger is equally compliant. :)

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    1. Thank you! You had a duplicate comment that I removed, but now I look like a big meanie because you've been 'administrated' lol :)

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  3. what an awesome ride!! it's kinda interesting, and i might be reading too much into things (since i only really know what you write) - but it seems like you and Bridget really turned a corner since the not-so-great clinic. like maybe that experience helped you reevaluate what you were doing together and what you wanted - and that whatever you settled on is working super well for the pony. exciting stuff :)

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    1. I think you're right - although I haven't fully formed my thoughts on exactly what changed. A little bit of me deciding not to take it so seriously, confirmation that she shuts down with too much physical pressure but loves verbal encouragement, maybe Midge realizing her rider actually makes fairly reasonable demands (ie I'm much easier to please than the "mean" dressage lady! ;), and finally I think in a weird sort of way that horrible experience together made us a stronger team. With everyone pressuring me to find a different prospect, it only made me realize I'm 100% committed to keeping her and riding/training her long term and I'm sure she must feel that. Whatever the case, she's way more willing and agreeable of late!

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  4. Yay - that is awesome! Go pony go! We need some jumping pics soon I think. :)

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    1. G has tried repeatedly but can't seem to get the timing right. As I desperately want some, I may have to recruit elsewhere :)

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  5. Congratulations! It sounds like an amazing ride!

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  6. So much awesome in one post, love good Bridget and sound Ginger is always great news ☺

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