We've lost the steering again in a big way. It's partly my own fault, because I opted for a vacation and only rode twice last week, plus we've been struggling focusing on grids and gymnastics lately so dressage has been a bit ignored. (strangely enough though, my aids work perfectly fine when we're jumping, something to do with pony actually wanting to be forward/make the turns ?)
She warmed up really pushy and on the muscle. I picked that fight because I was tired and had limited patience. Big mistake.
Our lesson time started with Bridget in full on "I don't wanna" mode. My coach was unperturbed, and either hates us or simply reads the same blogs I do, because our warm up exercise was quite similar to the one Cob Jockey wrote about recently - half pass to spiral. Since we're not as advanced, our half pass is only for a step or two, then the bend changes to a leg yield, then back to half pass. The spiral also alternates, asking for a shoulder in position on the spiral in, and haunches in on the spiral out.
Bridget is super bendy, so even though she is green, she can do all this provided I stay coordinated. Whether she wants to do this is another story! Today, the answer to all my questions was a big fat no. Our warmup exercise turned into our lesson, and in a scene reminiscent of our struggles last spring, it only got worse before it got slightly better. That bendy ability can be used against me in a huge way since she is fully capable of bending around my leg while simultaneously falling through it. I have no idea how the physics of some of her naughty pony moves work, suffice to say I can have her in what should be a correct position yet somehow we travel forward or sideways where a fat green pony should not be able to.
|Our interpretation of a spiral....|
Despite my negativity, there was a big improvement from start to finish. I did "win" that fight I picked and pony finished off cantering a spiral. It was never a nice canter, but we did the exercise. It was just one of those rides that I wish I could take back and approach from a different angle, one of those ones that as a rider really makes you wish you had some more tools in the toolbox.
EC's input was essentially that Bridget was bullying me and I needed to pick the fight and get it done. OK, I get it. But I still can't help but wonder what piece of the puzzle I'm missing, because in a perfect world we would not have these rides where Bridget's answer to everything I ask from the moment I show up at the barn is "just try to make me!" Granted, these bad days are getting more and more infrequent, but they are still troubling.
Please if anyone out there likes me, if I ever publicly say I am getting a project pony/horse ever again, point me back to this post, and remind me why it is the dumbest idea ever :) (Obviously I am only joking here, I love my Midget pony and overall am very much enjoying the training process!)