Thursday 20 October 2016

Push and Pull

We're already in the time of year where I'm riding in the dark. I tacked up Q mare for a trail ride anyway, but quickly discovered that due to the multiple trees that came down in the last storm, I'm temporarily unable to trail ride off property. At least I tried?

We returned to the indoor and it became very apparent the Q mare was super fresh. A difficult situation for me, because the arena was packed with not a lot of room to maneuver, also she is huge and I am not 100% confident about picking fights with her yet. So, I did a ton of walk transitions, a ton of reminding her my leg being there does not mean go, and lots and lots of bendy changes of direction because hauling me around isn't cool. And oh my goodness, does she love to try to set her neck and pull you along. We moved up to trot and played with the same stuff there, but just as I felt she was starting to go nicely it was already past time to get Bridget ready for my lesson. It's funny, if Bridget has an off day or I ride poorly, I'm like "Oh well." With Q mare I put pressure on myself to make it good because she's not my horse. Time for another lesson on her, I think.

I quickly tacked up Bridget and hopped on her, and she had the same energy levels as Q. With Bridget though, rather than dragging around and pulling, it manifests as wanting to wiggle and go up and/or get stuck and buck in place. It felt a little weird after an hour of trying to get Q mare back off the forehand and then I need to push B because she's wanting to bounce around on her hind legs! Its funny that what is consistent between the two is their movement. B is more bouncy when asked, but generally speaking, when each is going well they feel oddly alike - even with a 3 hand height difference! Both are definitely my type.
How I imagine Bridget would look if she was 17hh

We were in the middle of another windstorm and for whatever reason the arena lights weren't all cooperating, so our lesson was mostly in the dark. You'd think all that plus the excess energy would be a recipe for disaster, but I actually had a super good ride on Midge! Once she warmed up, she was totally looking for the contact and our exercise from Monday of bringing her into a collected walk to rebalance totally helped.

My homework is lots and lots of transitions, up to trot and canter until the balance is lost, then back to walk to rebalance and immediately back to trot or canter. The trick is to keep her using her back and hind legs consistently regardless of what we're doing. I'm thankful I know her so well, it makes it much easier to time my corrections and transitions appropriately!
Having fun with photo apps again 


  1. I always find it funny the horses you wouldn't expect to ride similar do!

  2. Nice to have two different ponies to ride (sort of haha)! I learn a lot from the similarities and differences in my crew :)

  3. wow you guys are getting some serious weather lately!! Aside from that tho we are edging ever closer to riding when it's dark out. And I'm having the same issues as you and Q - the indoor is smaller and gets full, and 17h is an awful lot of horse to maneuver around all that!