Monday, 4 April 2016

Like She's Sweet

I was reading some old-ish online COTH blogs the other day and came across something I just knew I can use. EC is forever telling me to sit up and ride Bridget the way I want her to go (not as she is) but I confess, more often that not I really don't have a clear vision of what that is. Especially if it's been a while since Good Pony made a visit! Reading Dom Schramm's advice for the author (on her hot and over enthusiastic mare) to "ride her like she's sweet!" for whatever reason, resonated a little more with me and made me smile every time I reminded myself of it.
Full disclaimer: I also switched bits back to an eggbutt snaffle from a loose ring French link AND since the diet is working, had space to put her preferred Pro-lite half pad back in the lineup.

And...the pony went like a dream. There was still some residual fussiness in the bridle, and a bit of stickiness, but so, so minor compared to the dramatics of the past week. We practiced our shoulder in and haunches in between collecting and extending the trot and and B went really nicely - way more willing to take a soft contact, which made me very happy. 

Up to canter, and both directions were the best they've ever been. The left is still the more difficult side, but the fact we're defining  "difficult" as me just having to be more careful to set her up correctly from the walk, and half halt more on the circle is huge! Last year, just getting and keeping a canter of any sort on that side was a bit of a miracle, and even last month at our dressage show it was still an obvious struggle and got us a 5. There's still work to be done, but the fact I can now start to make adjustments within the gait without the wheels falling off is huge. I feel like she's giving me a place to sit too, unlike before where I constantly had to fight against getting pushed to the outside of the circle. So much progress, made even better by the fact the Midge is quite happy to try and even seems proud of her new skillz. Sweet pony, indeed!

Since her left side is the tougher side, I got all tricksy and set up a few fences, all off the left rein. Midge was pretty sure she must have won Best Pony lottery as she happily jumped around, but it was left lead canter boot camp in disguise. I'm pretty sure she didn't notice in the moment, but pony is smart so by now she's likely realized she was duped. I'm not counting out some form of retaliation next ride :)

I finished up with a bit of no stirrups work, posting trot mostly since I am forever wishing for a better lower leg over fences. For whatever reason, it actually felt easy, dare I hope I've gotten stronger since our November no stirrups boot camp? Or perhaps it is more likely the Midget pony is simply a little more honest about taking me forward at a consistent pace without nagging. Either way, we'll call it a win!

Just over a week until we head out to eventing camp, and I can't recall the last time I was so excited for anything. This pony is just SO fun!

9 comments:

  1. Eventing camp? sounds like a ball. I like the idea of riding her like she's sweet. That's great advice.

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    1. Eventing camp! I'm calling it that - it's actually a 4 day clinic with Steph Rhodes Bosch in the interior of the province...and we will be camping in April :)

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  2. Great advice indeed! I'm going to try this out next time I ride Katai!

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    1. I'm really looking forward to it - we've never had a proper xc lesson/school, so 4 days of it sounds awesome.

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  4. Oooh that jump course diagram is mighty fancy! Also my trainer is forever telling me to ride the horse like I want her to go too. Maybe one day i will learn?

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    1. It's so hard to not get emotionally wrapped up in it. we had a great lesson last night too, I think in good part due to me treating the pony like she's sweet!

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  5. That's actually a pretty nice train of thought... I'll have to ride Suzie like that!

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