Thursday 1 June 2017


Midge just got a light flat ride in the ring last night. I'm finding my flat rides of  late both inspiring and frustrating. Slightly frustrating because I can never completely recreate the quality of work we see in our lessons, but still inspiring because we've made so much positive progress and I have ever more tools to use as a rider.

My number one disconnect from lessons would probably be because Midge is very difficult to get working properly. In lessons, EC just has me get her in front of my leg, and move her body all around, not caring that Midge gives us her best don't wanna be fancy/giraffe impression. It literally takes 20-30 min of this (after a lengthy warm up, so say 45min from when I get on) before she starts to really use herself and is even and solid in the contact. Since she lunges quite well in side reins and my hands are steady, this is just Midge saying it's hard and I can't make her.

When I ride on my own I am less apt to be patient and tend to be more rushed for time, which is obviously not a great recipe for anything. My go to compromise is to ride her on a longer rein than EC would like. She still needs to be forward and straight, and using her hind end, but I let her nose be a little in front of the vertical, and I let her poll be lower than is desirable. Midge is much less fussy, I don't get annoyed, and we get some stuff done, although like I said, the quality is not quite on par with lessons. Short reins supposedly win gold medals, slightly longer reins keep the peace around here :)
Being on the bit is for losers

My previous compromise was to get super tired of kicking her onwards and to let her get behind my leg provided she was still moving in a forward direction. We're WAY better about that these days, although it is a discussion that needs to be had at the beginning of every ride, and again when she decides she's had enough. 

I'm well aware that I should be consistent between lessons and my own rides, and not asking as much of her on my non lesson days is a recipe for a pony apocalypse. The pony is winning this war. Sometimes I just want to keep the peace.

I ride a couple of other horses on a fairly regular basis and both are super honest about getting to work right away. I'm envious. I want one. But, Midge is who she is, and I'm the one who gave the literal inch in this discussion :)

As EC is fond of saying, the Midge project is going to teach me more than any other. 
I am a super amazing giraffe

What compromises do you make when you ride?


  1. Yay (boo) for horses teaching us patience. Ugh lol. I feel like I am constantly making little sacrifices here and there with my guy - but it's never consistent bc he is actually often a different horse in different arenas (naturally he challenges me the most in our arena at home where I never have lessons or anyone on hand to help problem solve lol). It's a constant process, even if the steps look a little different day to day.

  2. I agree Midge, being on the bit is for losers, lol. Why can't we all just lama... Savvy tends to think that coming down to a walk after some hard trot or canter work actually means stop, and sometimes I don't have the fight in me to keep her walking and just let the lazy pony stop. I know, so bad. I have so little discipline.

  3. Yeahhh there's a lot of times where I just don't have the fight in me to get Dino working properly, and on those days we just do fitness work and I let him hold himself however he wants! I find I really need to focus and be SERIOUS in my intentions from the moment I get on, otherwise he wears me down quickly and I just let him do whatever he feels like.