Sunday, 11 February 2018

Long Weekend Happenings 1

Saturday, the weather was cool, but sunny and so we went on our planned group ride. Starting out, I immediately remembered why I don't normally participate in such things. 20 other horse and rider pairs, more than a few of which probably haven't been out in months, and a lot of novice riders. I'm happy that there was that much participation, and everyone was lovely. However,  B was pretty worried, with all the other overexcited horses bumping into us and others causing shenanigans just out of sight ahead.

I figured we'd kind of naturally sort out into groups, but that didn't seem to happen. The slow people seemed to be in the lead/want to be first, and the trails are mostly forested and steep, narrow or very rocky, so there was a lot of stopping and waiting for those up front to move and no one ventured beyond a very slow walk.

B says standing tied here all day would require less patience

Even though B is a pretty solid and forgiving citizen, I don't like feeling that I've put any of my horses in a situation they're really worried or unhappy with, so in the future we'll keep it to smaller groups with better trail etiquette knowledge. B was a superstar simply for not kicking any of the strange horses running up her bum. On the plus side, we had plenty of time to practice walk transitions and haunches in/out. It was freezing cold and the 2.5 hour ride definitely made me grumpy, but the social get together after was super fun, and it was nice to visit with everyone. Our farrier was there and offered to save time by trimming Bridget there. Nice!

Green grass growing!

Sunday, our run of unseasonably fantastic weather continued. It's definitely cool out, but it's dry and sunny. People were mowing their lawns! Crazy to think it was all snow and flooding a week ago. I hacked B down to the outdoor in hopes of practicing dressage tests, but it was not to be. Pony was again, way too energetic to settle in to something so boring.  I actually got after her pretty harshly to remind her of her manners. Its been a while, but there are still days where shes quite happy to keep testing the boundaries until we have a bit of a fight. My annoyed thought of this ride:  If she supposedly has so much energy, there is zero reason she can't move off my leg immediately when I ask, rather than trying to run through the bridle first. Ponies. My own fault for letting her off work to gallop around like an idiot on Thursday, I guess (No regrets tho, it was fun!)

Canter pics from a couple of weeks ago...but relevant because we did the same exercises this Sunday

Spiralling in by moving her shoulders over - very effective at getting her back and under herself more when she's trying to race off.

 The good thing is adult Bridget can move on and get over it and we ended with her going really nicely. Baby Bridget of two or three years ago would have kept arguing the entire ride, and likely well into the next ;) We did SO much work in canter on Sunday, and she barely broke a sweat and was only beginning to feel a little tired after about 60min of ring work. She was the only non sweaty horse prancing home on the ride Saturday too, so we might be gaining in the fitness battle.


Exercise 2: bending and counterbending in canter, trying to make her stronger and more supple. I know these are not "wow" pictures, but theyre our reality and I'm proud of how far it's come. A lot rounder, a little more consistent in the balance and I think it's going to be quite nice.


Monday...actually, you know what? This is so long already. I'll post this now and do a Monday ride recap when the weekend's actually over.

13 comments:

  1. I kinda hate large group rides just for the reasons you've mentioned. Good for you for making it through and actually working on something while out and about. I get grouchy about stuff like that and then I can focus on anything but my own grumpiness.
    I love spiral circles. I mean... I love/hate them, but they're so good for getting ponies listening and over their back!

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    1. I thought maybe 5 or 6 people would show up, but there were 19! Yay for getting everyone out, but yeah, a little too busy for me :)

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  2. Ugh group trail rides can be either a blast or the absolute worst. A huge group like that would have me pulling my hair out!

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    1. I must be getting old, because mostly I was worried about the safety aspects of all those fresh horses and out of practice riders and that someone might get hurt!

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  3. omgosh that giant group ride *does* sound stressful lol. i like group rides but .... within reason lol. i definitely *don't* like rides where i'm constantly having to hold my horse back from too-slow leaders up front. nothing pisses a horse off faster than that, from what i can tell lol.

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    1. Yep. It's not even like Bridget needs to lead or really get anywhere fast, she's just like "if we're walking, let's walk already!" I can respect that, lol

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  4. i hate large rides just for that reason. I have a saint of a horse (usually LOL) and he gets rammed from behind and horses fly by him and its just damn rude people. LOL. I know Remus is slow so usually offer to trail the group but a lot of people don't do that. LOL! Glad you had a fulfilling weekend of riding though really (after all that crap weather). She looks great!!! And feels great it sounds like :)

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    1. She feels fantastic right now, and the people on the ride really were awesome, so overall, I really shouldn't have been as grouchy and impatient as I was :)

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  5. I got anxiety reading about that group ride. Eeeeekkk. And look at her reaching with that hind leg in the one canter photo!!! Go, girl, go!

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    1. her canter is really getting so much stronger. I'm such a believer now that with time and appropriate exercises you can build a decent canter from just about anything.

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  6. I like trail rides but don’t love them and my tolerance ends after about 60 minutes even with a group of fun people so I give you SO MUCH CREDIT that you both handled that so well

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    1. Yeah, 2.5 hours was a lot...particularly as its a route that normally takes me about 1.5 hours. I can confirm its possible to get a bit of road rage while riding a horse, lol

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  7. Yeah I think that would be too many people for me to ride with

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