Monday 14 December 2015

Weekend Happenings

I opted to stay on the lower coast this weekend rather than travelling home to see G. The weather continues to be horrible and I wasn't really feeling the prospect of being stuck on the way there or back due to ferry cancellations or downed trees/flooding on the highway.

Obviously monsoon rain and hurricane wind gusts don't make for the best riding weather either, but a weekend without responsibilities really can't be spent anywhere but the barn :)
"Let me out of jail, please!"
Ginger has been busy with students trying her out as their potential lesson or lease mount, so fingers crossed she finds a long term use at my barn - I'd obviously like that very much! EC has been riding her too, so I'm being quite spoiled as far as great riders schooling the big mare. I'm trying not to feel guilty! As always, Ginger is taking quite a bit to settle in and is half heartedly pretending to be feral and untouched by a saddle. "Do you find she's a little bit...dramatic?" asked EC. Why yes, yes I do :) I'm very, very appreciative of what a great barn this is. Ginger is not an easy ride, but many of the girls have cheerfully signed up to ride her for me and there is zero pressure or judgement that I'm not up there myself. I miss riding her and am feeling the urge to give it a go again, but we'll see, all in good time I think.

Midge was a little rock star this weekend. She's been very fussy lately and trying to say she can't bend left or be properly on the bit. I think I mentioned I had quite a frustrating ride a few days ago where she was running above/through the bridle (as well as my outside aids) and generally being grouchy and rude.
RAWRRR so angry! (OK, just yawning)

I've switched her from her D ring snaffle back to a loose ring French link and she feels slightly happier in that. I also lengthened my stirrups and shimmed my saddle a tiny bit. Although I'd like to leave it there and blame a tack issue, as I'm sure we've all learned, horse problems usually = rider problems. 

The past few rides, I've been focusing very hard on sitting quietly and staying centered with my shoulders back and level. I've also been very conscious of what my hands are doing. Most of all, I'm concentrating on being super consistent with my aids and expectations. I'm as guilty as anyone of getting in the frame of mind that I'm doing a jump school and going to address that unbalanced transition or sloppy turn in my next go through, or even worse, in my dressage lesson later in the week. 

Long story short, really focusing on my riding and consistency as far as training opportunities go resulted in a much nicer Bridget, go figure.
Our current little course. Strangely, it all rode great first time through, except that lone oxer. We smashed that!

After a quick jump school the rain cleared a little and we ventured outside for a trail ride Sunday afternoon. With it still being quite windy, the horses were really edgy and spooky. Even Bridget had a good spook and scoot at a couple of things but was her typical solid trail pony self 99.9% of the ride, leading the others past the scary stuff. I've mentioned before there are some really fantastic horses and riders at the barn who either already are or are going to be quite successful. I sometimes feel like I don't fit in with my pony when even the teenagers are already doing prelim and 1* eventing or GP dressage on their talented horses. While of course I dream of riding at a high level, my reality is that I don't have the dedication and willingness to sacrifice other aspects of my life to get there. What I do have is a wish to have fun, and an endless appreciation for the pony I can just hop on and have a good ride on, even in the middle of a huge windstorm. In short, even when offered the chance to ride an upper level horse,  I still find a reason to hop on Bridget instead and have zero regrets about it.
It was a dark and stormy night....


  1. Lol @ "dramatic" Ginger! Sounds like you have a nice group of people at your barn. I totally hear you, I'd much rather be on something quiet rather than a hot 1* horse. My favorite thing about my little mare is her brain (her tail is a close second). :)

  2. sounds like Ginger's got the perfect situation right now, even if she's claiming otherwise haha. glad Midge is doing so well too (that looks like a complicated course!), esp as she fulfills the role of 'do anything go anywhere' pony!