Thursday 23 February 2017

A Million Times Canter

Lesson number 2 on Audrey was proceeded by an excellent ride on my favorite baby dinosaur mare, Q.  I feel like I'm regaining my handle on all things Q and we're back in a happy groove. She's big and she's pushy and there have been times where I haven't been brave enough in the saddle to push back as much as I should. She's very kind so nothing bad comes of it, I just end up feeling like I could have ridden better.  She's decided I am one of her people (and she is not overly generous about such things) so lately I can do no wrong in her world. I've been pushing a bit more and seeing the rewards. Also, just that first lesson on Audrey has increased my confidence level so much and give me so many new tools to use with Q!
Obligatory cross tie pic of  pretty Q mare

Ride number 2 last night was Audrey. Audrey mare wasn't feeling the love for riding under the lights, so she was a bit more spooky and backed off  than before (the arena lights seem to make it so they are almost always making shadows in front of you. Shadow horses blocking our path are scary, says Audrey. I am a princess and I do not work after dark.) So,  job one? Getting Audrey in front of the leg. A task I'm actually quite proficient at due to Bridget. Where did this brave rider come from who is willing to gallop spooky Audrey around the arena on a loose rein to "warm up"? No clue, but let's hope she sticks around for a bit.

Almost the entire lesson consisted of canter.  Canter/trot 1 stride/canter transitions to start, followed by a brief walk break to plead with me to please, please please keep my shoulder back and STOP giving with the outside rein. Then, shoulder in on the circle,  in canter. Followed by more pleading re: that pesky shoulder.  Followed by collecting and extending the canter, and yours truly finally staying strong and tall in my upper body, putting the pieces together, and riding better. We finished with a tiny bit of collected trot, because A can pretty much sit and trot on the spot and give you that feeling of bringing the trot up and bigger but not making the strides smaller.  I can string together a few nice strides on Bridget, but it was cool to feel how much power I really need to create to help keep it consistent and balanced.
Princess Audrey

Another great ride. I feel like it's been a very steep learning curve this week! I'm incredibly grateful to EC and Audrey for the opportunity to get a better feel for what I can do as a rider to help Bridget out.

But, I'm missing my Bridget! She's been doing her best to be adorable and get my attention. I'm HER person, and Bridget is very funny about things like that. She's also been standing at the gate watching my every move with the other two and making nasty faces at them. Likely she's concerned they are stealing her treat supply and scratches,  but I'll pretend it's because we have a magical connection and she can't wait to get back to work. Fingers crossed she's feeling better soon.
B gets breakfast in bed. The horses all know the rules: stay away while I fill your hay nets, please. Except B, who gets to be teacher's pet. I let her visit while I do chores, as long as she's polite. It's funny to me that the other horses accept this as fair and continue to politely wait for me to finish, even though B is bottom of the herd pecking order and helping herself to breakfast first.


  1. I don't think I've ever seen Q! Shes so cute!

  2. That's so adorable that B gets munchies like that while you're working :)

  3. It is SO awesome that you are getting to ride such great horses while B gets her life sorted out! What an incredible learning opportunity.

    1. I know, right? Both are still quite young (7 and 6, I think)but so talented and fun! Audrey is doing her first 4th level dressage test this weekend, Q is going Training event wise this year. The other 'extra' horse I have access to is a 1* eventer and going PSG dressage. It's a bit unreal.

  4. These lessons honestly sound like such great experiences!