Friday 19 September 2014

Like Magic

It's been cool and misty the past couple of mornings, and of course I've been enjoying the break from the heat at the barn. It's hard to describe how special these fall mornings are - the leaves are starting to change, the ponies are feeling cheeky and it even smells wonderful and fresh with the little bit of rain.

A hint of the fall colors to come
I'm going to go out on a limb and say those who predicted Ginger would mature with age may be right. She's 7 years old now and is so much more level and easier to deal with than in the past. Even our excursions out and about and up to the ring have yet to yield any drama. I haven't ridden yet, since I did promise G I wouldn't ride her alone the first few times, but I've been lunging her regularly and playing with groundwork. We had a huge semi truck fly past us (accelerating!) on the road yesterday and she didn't put a foot out of place. Is this really Ginger?! I'm anxiously waiting for G's days off work so I can hop on and get going again. Since Ginger only had about 3 or 4 short rides in my absence, it's probably not a bad thing to bring her back with short sessions on the lunge, but I'm really feeling impatient. I'm back to being excited to ride her, which is such a nice feeling after those months of being nervous. She's so great and I just love her.
Love that pony. Pic from last week. This week = more of the same

Will she get fit by watching? :)

Bridget came out with me this morning for a ride. I was cleaning up my tack bin and found my spurs I had for Lainey and thought "why not?". I could see in last week's photos I'm falling into the habit of nagging with my leg. I hate that! Ginger will hate that! Again, though, with spurs it was like magic. I only had to use them lightly once and she was wide awake and putting in a good effort after that. I've not been giving myself enough credit - I've actually taught her well! She's just been outsmarting me and giving me the middle finger the last couple of rides and I fell for it thinking the poor pony just didn't understand yet. Today, I had forward and I had nice bend all at the same time, so I could start playing with getting pony really working from behind. We had some great beginner leg yields and I even got bold and impulsively asked for and got a couple of good shoulder in strides coming off a circle. Who is this pony?!  She's obviously very green and unfit, so I only ask for a couple of strides here and there where she's really on the aids, then we head out on a loose rein for a few, just going forward and working on getting her relaxed. Just like Ginger, she holds all her tension over her back and neck, except we're also dealing with a pony who lacks a bit of initiative and forward momentum. After those lessons with Splash this summer, I'm sorry, but the behind the leg frustration is fresh in my mind and is just not an option for my regular ride! Giraffe pony is very much alive and well, but there were addictive moments of 'cute dressage pony' the last couple of rides and I'm feeling hopeful the pieces will slowly come together.She did so well today, I was really pleased with her. Exciting as watching paint dry, I'm sure, but so very cool when you're the rider feeling those subtle changes.

Love the quiet country roads to hack home on. Fearless little pony also a bonus.
I really, really enjoy babies. It's just so neat when they start to get confident about what you've taught them. Little Bridget was very proud of herself and was rewarded with a nice quiet hack home on the buckle and some apples from the tree. Ginger will always be my heart horse, but I'm starting to think there may be some space in there for a second pony as well :)

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