Friday 10 July 2015

Getting It Right

I finally fit a ride in last night after work. We are still slammed with extra work, but it's starting to let off as the forest service gets more organized and takes over more and more of the day to day stuff from us. A huge shout out to the fire fighting crews who arrived here this week from Ontario and Australia, their help is so appreciated!
Smoke from earlier this week

We may get a little rain this weekend, but for now the heat remains ridiculous. This summer is breaking all the records, and not in a good way! Poor Midget looked less than impressed when I brought her saddle out, but we are at a "serious" barn now and have training goals to meet! She inflated herself to epic proportions, yet I still managed to get her saddle on.( on earth does a 14hh pony suck in enough air to barely fit a 48" girth with elastic ends? It's a huge struggle to get it done up, even on the last holes. Once we get moving, I can gradually move each side up 3-4 holes, at which point my girth is now borderline too big. It's a ridiculous situation. I'm going to rent her out to pony parties. She can give rides AND blow up all the balloons.)
Round pony

She started out pretty sluggish and contrary. Her right side is the side she tries to avoid using, so being the heartless person I am, that's the side we started with. I won't lie, it was kind of ugly. I had this plan of getting all the forwards and canters right away before she got tired, which maybe wasn't the best plan with a stiff and contrary pony with a broken forward button.

The right lead was simply not happening. No matter how I set it up, at best she would take a stride then escape out through the shoulder and do a flying change back to left lead and go back to her current preferred way of being counter bent to the outside so she can keep an eye on her pasture buddies. On a tiny circle, even. Which obviously required a ton of grunting and groaning, because that's hard work! No matter, our homework was more about cantering forward immediately when asked rather than insisting on the correct lead. If you recall, EC is of the opinion that since we will want to counter canter on purpose eventually when asked, it's counterproductive to make a big deal about being "wrong" for offering it and shutting it down now when she is just learning. 

Finally, I felt like our forward button was where I wanted it to be. The lead thing was still nagging at my brain though, because regardless of any thoughts on right/wrong leads, I was asking Midge to use her body a certain way and she was pushing through and ignoring me.  So, I gave her a walk break in which I really focused on getting her to move her shoulders and hindquarters over immediately without leaning on me. When she was light and off my aids, I set her up for a right lead canter from walk and got a beautiful one. I made big fuss over Ms Bridget's awesomeness and she cantered quite happily around the arena a few times. I could really feel her relax and start using her body, almost as if she was thinking "Wait! This is easy! Is this really all that my rider wanted?!" 
Dinner time!

I let her pop over a couple of crossrails as a reward, and finished there. Only about a half hour ride, but that's the sort of stuff I want to quit on and have pony think about for next time :)

We were both quite tired and sweaty from our efforts, so Ms B had her first bath. In true Bridget fashion she was horribly offended for about two seconds, then decided she could tolerate for a minute or two, then decided baths are actually pretty fun and didn't want me to stop spraying her until her dinner was served. She's such a funny thing.
Nom nom nom


  1. my midget pony also blows up to epic proportions. unless i can catch her unawares and the girth just flies up no problemo haha. silly Bridget!

  2. That so cute that she came around on baths! :) Apollo has learned the inflatable trick takes me forever to get his girth tight enough (I have to get it pretty tight for my treeless saddle to stay centered when I mount up, even from the mounting block).

  3. That plume of smoke is scary. I'm glad you guys are doing okay.

    Just so you know, Midget wears the same size girth as Murray. 48, double elastic on both sides. In fact, Murray's is a short 48 and closer to 47" actually. And guess who ALSO can barely have his girth done up on the first hole on either side (I actually punched new holes in my billets when I got the saddle) and then gets them put up 3-4 holes after walking around a bit? PONIEZ MAN!!