Tuesday 27 December 2016

Doing Less

I hope the holidays are treating everyone well! G and I are a little bit grinchy and don't really do the gifts and decorating part around our house. This is more a time for us to take a few days off and spend some quality time together doing the things we love, which you could probably argue is more in the spirit of the holidays than we think :)
This post brought to you by Bridget yoga. Pose 1 - "Upward Sitting Horse"

That being said, I surprised everyone who knows me and went out Christmas caroling this year! Don't worry, I didn't temporarily lose my  mind and turn into an extrovert who thinks they can sing - a group of us went from the barn and did caroling by horseback on Christmas Eve. Horses involved = obviously I'm in, terrible singer or no.  Bridget was a superstar, and led everyone through the dark neighbourhood and right up to people's front doors.
Demonstrating the difficult "Upside down table" pose

As for my rides, they've been going alright! I tried a new saddle, amd while it didn't work for me, Bridget loved it and was much more like her old self. So, an appointment with the fitter for her current saddle and some more serious shopping for a dressage saddle is in my future.

We also went back and tackled the angled jump exercise from last week, and actually cantered it. Someone had increased the height of it which seemed to help B figure out cantering it is actually easier than our default during the lesson of throwing a trot step in over the pole and jumping the vertical from there.

In the spirit of holidays, I've also been way more conscious of doing less while in the saddle. Fingers crossed, Bridget has been answering that with some better work. I think EC would want me to ask for more, but for now this seems to be a good mental reset for the both of us. The majority of my rides have just been getting B forward into a soft, long rein. The moment she sucks back, wiggles, or argues, I ask for canter or gallop and just make her go. Since she needs my help a little more in canter,it's pretty easy to establish the feel we're looking for there before we transition back down. I've only been doing collected and lateral work in the canter for this reason as well. Forward and straight and carrying herself is the name of the game. Baby stuff revisited, but I feel strongly it's the right thing to do right now. Keeping it simple and fun for the both of us.

Our other adventures have involved multiple trail rides. It's not often I can ride in daylight this time of year, and the trails are a welcome diversion.

And, one final set of thoughts. Quite honestly, I've been super frustrated with Midge lately.  I was discussing my concerns with a riding buddy, and we discussed maybe competing a different horse a few times next season (Q mare? Ginger?). Both are more forward,  confident rides who might be a fun change.  I'm not ruling it out, but it did get me thinking. Basically, Bridget has zero bad habits. She's easy to have around, she's incredibly easy to care for. She's the perfect size. She's great in new places.  She'll hack out anywhere. She never does anything stupid. I can literally hop on anywhere, anytime and try anything and it's never disastrous in the typical way that horses seem to find. At worst, we get frustrated, or maybe even part company, but life goes on, we muddle through and live to try another day with zero grudges held.
Pony has packed on the holiday pounds, but gets an A+ for posing.

She is, however, typically less forward thinking than I'd like. Her work ethic also kind of stinks sometimes and she's opted out and let me down more than once.  Maybe I'm crazy, but those are all things that fitness, confidence, and training can help. Even if the perfect dream pony existed, I'd never part with the one I've got. So, there's no point being frustrated and dreaming about other options. I need to work with what we've got and make it the best I can :)
Phew,  that was a long post.



  1. Glad you are enjoying the holidays - caroling on horseback sounds wonderful!! And yea. There's something to be said for a horse that you can trust to go anywhere and do anything with. Other things can be learned or taught, but that good brain is invaluable!!

  2. It sounds like a good break to me. Maybe if the saddle is sorted she'll be more forward?

    1. From previous experience, thats unlikely, but last time we had the flocking adjusted we both felt more centered and even on her tougher side, so I'm hoping its definitely a help again!!

  3. Horseback caroling sounds SO FUN!! And I get how you feel about showing Bridget - it's incredible to be able to take your pony anywhere, anytime, and give anything a try, but sometimes you DO wonder if showing could be more fun and less frustrating! Showing Sully over the summer was, for me, just what the doctor ordered. It really helped boost my confidence and renew my enthusiasm for my own pony. If you have the chance to show another horse next year, I say give it a go and see what happens!

    1. I had another difficult lesson the other night, and the thought of potentially having a back up plan next season helped me persevere;)

  4. She is actually the cutest thing ever.

    1. So cute, I want to just keep her in the backyard as a pet :)