Thursday 3 December 2015

Brave Pony

The big storm front we were expected to start hitting us sometime overnight  showed up a little early - and by early I mean just in time for my after work ride! It started in our warm up with Midge being quite looky and spooky. I was more focused on watching the lesson in progress to realize she had good reason for being a bit jumpy. The wind had gradually picked up to the point where things were starting to blow around, including the blue plastic barrels we normally jump. Midge was caught by surprise when they were suddenly chasing us and for the first time (I've witnessed at least) had a bit of a panicky moment.  Falling tree branches started adding to her excitement, but she just as quickly remembered she is a horse who spends a lot of time outside and therefore should be able to cope with weather events.

Since this is an eventing barn and enough jumps were (temporarily) standing, our jumping lesson was still a go. 
Shiny winter pony. She's much less round than before! I know it looks like she has no tail, but she does, I promise! I'm keeping it braided for practicality this winter because mare likes to sleep in poo/muck and no amount of detangler seems to help. 

I was slightly nervous about jumping my fresh and spooky pony in a windstorm, but I forgot that the default when Midge is unsure of things is for her to actually back off a little and listen harder to her rider. Rather than getting wild, she's quieter and less opinionated than her norm. I really, really appreciate that about her, because all I need to do is pretend to be somewhat confident and keep my leg on.  It's actually an easier ride for me than when she is over enthusiastic and confident and dragging me along.

We had a productive lesson in which I focused on riding assertively even though I felt a little off and one oxer in particular scared the %*#^ out of me :) I also needed to focus on keeping the same canter throughout the course, rather than trying to do too many adjustments and messing up the poor pony's attempts at nicely fitting the strides in.

On our way back up to the barn post lesson, EC's little wild child came running out of the dark to say hi to his mom and managed to wipe out and slide through the dirt, rolling to a stop right in front of Bridget. She thought that was an interesting way to say hello, but didn't move a hoof. Once he stood up, she gave him a sniff and a hello, then politely asked him to move aside - her dinner was waiting in the barn, after all. And just like that the world was returned to normal: the confident little mare we are used to, back to looking after her humans.


  1. She is one beautiful horse. The lesson sounds very productive!

  2. She is such a good girl. She needs to rub off on some of mine!

  3. She is looking so athletic! What a good girl for listening to her person when it was so interesting outside :-)