Monday, 23 March 2015

Schooling

Bridget goes to school! Really - the indoor riding arena we trailer to was built as part of a program for school kids and lesson horses. They're on spring break so Bridget gets to go to school instead :)
 For someone feeling a bit burnt out, I've done a surprising amount of riding over the past few days. After my fun ride on Saturday, my lesson on Sunday was back to behind the leg, slow Bridget and not worth a detailed recap. Such is life with baby ponies. Today's ride in the indoor was slightly better, but not by much...we still had a LOT of moments that felt like this:

Outtake from Saturday - I'm like :Go pony go! (missing hand may or may not contain a dressage whip) And pony is like NO, I will invert myself and pretend I wear concrete boots instead. While getting up out of the saddle has certainly helped get her thinking GO, I still really don't have many pictures of her cantering truly forward with any sort of pleasant expression - she's usually waiting for any excuse to stop (and in the right mood, she quite literally will come to a sudden complete stop if you let off your driving aids. It sucks).


It's a case of one step forward and then two or more back. Just when I think we've solved something we're back to struggling with the basics. I've never owned a pony who is less interested in pleasing her rider - just like when she is in the herd she is super independent and confident her way is the best way. Such confidence in herself is a fabulous thing out on the trail or in new situations where she is interested, but is a doubled edged sword when it comes to actually training the little beastie or when she gets bored or tired of the program. She definitely keeps you thinking. It's a vicious cycle because she tests and pushes you into having to correct her, then gets wildly offended that you did so. Under normal circumstances, I'd expect her to be the alpha mare in the field, but since she seems to march to her own drum she sort of hangs out on her own and the other horses just kind of ignore her when they're not getting after her for being pushy. In a way it's nice to see I'm not the only one who she constantly pushes at and annoys! Thank goodness she's so cute.



Still sulking post ride today because she forgot her manners and crowded me and got a talking to. Or maybe she simply objects to Ginger's extra large hand me down cooler. Hard to say :)
I have another couple of clinics coming up in April. Fingers crossed for some good breakthroughs and fun times!

9 comments:

  1. Personalities are a blessing & a curse huh?
    Sorry if i am being nosy, please ignore me as this is prob none of my business...but I'm. Curious what your trainer thought of your rides with the clinician

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    1. I've gone back and forth over posting anything further about that clinic - so much negativity! I may post a better recap at a later date, but in answer to your question - S wasn't a fan of the clinician and I think we are in agreement as to what we're going to take from the experience and what we'll leave behind :) She was pleased with Bridget and I and felt like we did our best in less than ideal circumstances.

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    2. Glad you're both on the same page, sorry to have brought back up a sore topic. You're right to put the negativity behind you and focus on Bridget's awesomeness - she is an absolute legend. ♡

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  2. I feel like I am getting a lot of riding in for a burnt out person too! Go us!

    That's very interesting about the herd dynamics, and I totally agree. Apollo has returned to his head hauncho position at is definitely testing me a bit more now. He was at the bottom of the pecking order at the other barn so part of me is happy he's feeling more confident...but he was more cooperative before :P

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    1. Yay for riding!

      In the field the other horses discipline Bridget for the same things I do - being pushy, not moving fast enough. Her reaction to them is identical - slowly and grudgingly doing what they tell her (ears pinned and tail swishing the whole time of course!), essentially testing and making them take it to the next level. She has plenty of bite marks to prove it. When they tire of it she goes off and hangs out alone and neither she nor the rest of the herd seem overly concerned about her being by herself. No one can tell me they aren't all individuals or have an inherent 'personality'!

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  3. ya know, i never thought about it before but the way you described Bridget today sounds a lot like my mare - the aloof independence (esp her behavior within the herd)... i suspect if my mare wasn't naturally incredibly forward we'd have the same issues...

    in any case, good luck sticking with it and hopefully there's lots of good stuff ahead of you!! :)

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    1. I'm pretty sure it's a smart confident mare thing! There's one in every crowd lol

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  4. LOL she's very good at evading you in that one canter picture. Silly pony!!!

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    1. I know, it's such a depressing picture! Thank goodness we do get the odd good one as well these days

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