Thursday 19 January 2017

Yield, Please

I started out the evening with a ride on Q mare, who was absolutely fabulous, particularly as our cold snap was replaced with torrential rain and 50mph wind gusts. Super forward, but soft and willing to listen to my half halts and balance herself. A big contrast to last week's zero brakes routine and wish for airs above the ground :) The joy of babies in winter. I was left wishing I had used this week as my week to lesson on her, but it may have been better for me to have eyes on the ground and a pep talk last week when I was struggling confidence wise and with how to ride her sass. I hope to feel like I've learned to ride her properly one day, she's amazing and quality and talent wise well beyond anything I'll likely ever own myself. She has a ton to teach me!

On to my lesson on Bridget. Bridget once again brought her "A" game, as did I. I knew we were going to have a tough lesson, so my warm up consisted of our tune up (go NOW from my leg) from earlier in the week, mixed with a lot of walking forward on the buckle. Anytime she slowed, and ignored a gentle reminder, she got to gallop off. Once again, there were a lot of angry pony theatrics (seriously, when did bucking down the long side become a regular part of our warmup?!), but she got the message quickly and figured out walking around on a loose rein with a bit of energy is much preferable.

We started our lesson with an exercise from Monday night. basically, leg yield on the wall, do a quarter turn on the haunches, and leg yield back down the wall off the opposite leg. Repeat until pony is quick off your leg and with the program, until it flows and even the turn on the haunches is in the same tempo as the rest. This is tough for B, as she's not overly fond of things changing bend or direction ;)

On Monday night, we practiced this at walk. Last night we progressed to trot, transitioning to walk for the turns, then immediately back to trot, holding the correct bend. Hard work.

Finally, we moved up to canter, and just did simple leg yields from the quarter line to the wall. Midge was well with the program and totally rocked it to the right. It was awesome, I could ask for one step at a time and keep her totally straight. She was also totally sitting on her bum and collecting the canter way more than I ever achieve normally. The challenge after the leg yield was to hold that same collected canter for one 20m circle. Challenge accepted and completed. A pretty cool insight into where we might get with a lot more practice and strength.

To the left was obviously not as balanced or effortless, but we got it done. Miracles :)

Poor Midge was exhausted. Even though it was a fairly short lesson without a lot of cardio, it's a lot of work for pony to bend herself and move her body where we ask when she's not overly experienced. We gave her a well deserved early exit along with some time snuggled in a cozy fleece cooler with her dinner.
She finally grew a winter coat just before Christmas, and already she is shedding no clipping this year, but an extra hairy pony to cool out for a few weeks. It's OK, what else do I have to do in the evenings?  :)



  1. That exercise is very tough! Good for you two.

    1. I feel like it would be nearly impossible to do perfectly! Definitely something I'll continue to use, especially to address that right shoulder.

  2. Sounds like an intense exercise!! Even better that she got the message about forward too!!

    1. She's getting the message. Slowly, Bridget speed ;)

  3. Whoa that sounds hardcore! Well done :D