Tuesday 15 September 2015

Positive Affirmations

"I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and doggone it, people like me!"

Monday night is lesson night! I have no super insightful bullet points this time around. Despite everyone being vaccinated, there's a bit of a bug going around the barn and a lot of the horses are feeling a little under the weather today. Nothing overly worrying - tiredness, runny noses and swollen legs seem to be the main things. The vet says it's no big deal and to just keep an eye on temperatures. If they aren't running a fever, it's ok to keep them in work, just scale ride intensity back a little bit. With that in mind, we took it easy on Midge even though she's still as healthy as a horse Welsh Cob.
Yep, still hungry

We started with EC asking how I felt the weekend went. I felt it went great! Super happy that even though I could feel Midge was a little spooky/unsure she still did her job with zero fuss, especially since I was nervous too and she could have used that against me.

 EC agreed Midge is a rock star, which led to a discussion of future plans. For now, we are aiming for Canadian Entry level combined tests this winter (equivalent to US Beginner Novice). While EC feels Midge will likely top out at Pre Training (equivalent to Novice) and certainly won't make it past Training level, "you're going to have a lot of fun bringing her along." I get the feeling EC is hoping in the future I'll be happy to a focus on having a dressage pony who also can event at the lower levels. Of course I would be!

With that and the possibility Midge might be slightly under the weather, there was no time like the present to delve back into travers at a walk and trot. We used the wall to help for a start, and she had zero issues. So we ventured away from the help of the wall, which went fine and led to shoulder in on the long sides, which led to circles...spiraling in in shoulder in, spiraling out in travers. Which led to asking the pony to really round herself and get her hind legs underneath and active in a collected trot, which led to changing direction across the diagonal and asking her to open up and extend a little. Which led to all the magical things and a few strides of a real extended trot. Seriously, for whatever reason, the pony was ON and we did all that in about 20 minutes of work. She answered every single question, and I was grinning from ear to ear. While we've certainly worked hard on the basics and none of the above should be an entirely new concept in itself, to switch exercises, bends, and directions, not to mention tempo, and remain balanced and forward without issue was just like "What?! How is this happening? Since when does my pony have these kind of moves?!!" Since baby pony is a baby pony, and a mare, we won't expect a repeat performance tomorrow, but I promise I will remember this ride next time I am doubting her/us.
Only pic I can find of her looking sort of mean and bad ass.

EC says she's been telling me all along that Bridget is built to do it and is just green, but I guess I either didn't listen or believe her. Bridget has always felt like a (very slow) tank after Ginger, and I guess I just thought that's how it is and how it will be. Last night, both Bridget and EC told me quite emphatically that there could be more to this particular story. 

I'm halfway listening to both of them now, I promise :)

Homework: Exercises as above, particularly shoulder in and travers on the long sides, focusing on straightness. As mentioned in previous lesson notes, better control of shoulders and haunches will help over all straightness and also help our canter work be a little more organized.

Next lesson: Wednesday

Next show: Dressage Percent Day September 26



  1. Sounds like this new trainer is working out splendidly for you both!

  2. awesome! this is kinda what i was thinking of when i wrote about my mare hating all the basics - until she realized that going through them is just step 1 before the really fun stuff. once that clicked, the basics started becoming nbd and she became a lot more cooperative bc she knew we would actually be going somewhere with it. you might be right that the lesson was a little flukey for green baby pony, but it sounds like she's on her way all the same!! how exciting :D

  3. You're both rock stars! Great homework :) I'm excited to hear what you two think of dressage percent day.

  4. Wooooooooo! I'm so glad you had such an awesome ride -- that's what makes all of the hard work and sacrifice worth it :)