Saturday 23 December 2017

Vacation Rides

I've had some fantastic rides this week. Thursday night we went to the indoor. It's great, my Thursday night rides are rapidly becoming a group event. A couple of the riders that rode in the last clinic also have homework and want to practice. So, its part social outing, part practice.

Friday, I got off work early, but still rode in the indoor - we're getting sub zero temps right now and everything outside is frozen solid since we had so much rain and standing water before this cold spell. I took the opportunity to run through bits of all three first level tests. I've tentatively committed to our first show mid March, which I'm sure will feel like it's here far too soon!

Dressagin' so good last summer lol

The walk and trot work felt fantastic, the canter was  too rushed and on the forehand. She's funny, if I can get her pushing and working in the walk and trot, the wheels sometimes fall off in canter. It's  like she's got all this energy, but not the strength to do much with it in the canter.  Although, if she's sucked back and fussy in walk and trot, the canter is beautiful and fixes the walk and trot, so maybe its just relative, for whatever reason the canter is adding heaps of energy and excitement no matter what. Can't have it all, I guess! We did a ton of square corners, a ton of transitions, spirals, and my very favorite trick for sassy Bridget right now, cantering down the centerline or even across the area focusing on staying perfectly straight, until I feel her start to dive her shoulder and guess which way we're turning. Then I immediately and quietly ask for the opposite or even ask her to halt straight, then . So mean, I know, but it really works to get her to slow down, listen, and think a little.
Chilling in her humble abode

Today, we chilled (literally, ha ha) on the trail. Just a quick 1.5 hr walking loop to the lake and back with a barn buddy. B had her easyboot gloves on, and they were disappointingly tractionless on the icy roads and grass, so walking it was. I think the horses enjoyed the outing, and B was happy to make a new horse friend,  but I was pretty happy to get home and warm up.

West coast wimps - the lake doesn't even have ice!

Our office is closed for the holidays, so B and I have an entire week to prep for spring shows and trail ride. Living the dream!

I'm so glad we're home for the next few months. I love EC's barn and miss it, but on the flip side, I think I'm the type of rider who needs to think things through on my own time, preferably in a quiet arena or on the trail. I've been piecing together ideas to solve a lot of long term riding and challenges lately, and I think it's because I'm being forced to think for myself, rather than just listening to my coach. I miss the constant input and affirmation I get with eyes on the ground, but I won't lie, the ability to think for myself, run through entire tests and implement focused schooling exercises on the fly without dodging other riders is also pretty nice! Progress will likely be slower, but I think I'll learn more in the end, if that makes sense.
My ferry rides have no cell service or internet, so I've been entertaining myself  with photo apps. I like this one - I want to print it and frame it.


  1. You should print that and frame it- I love it. I also hear you on the thinking things through. I can get so dependent on the input. There's a perfect mix out there I'm sure. :)

  2. I hear you on the advantages of becoming a somewhat more independent rider at this barn away from EC's place. I have come to realize that I've lost some of my own independent riding and training since buying Charlie and kinda want to get that mojo back too!

  3. That exercise cantering down the middle then switching up direction sounds fun! And wow...I really love the effect on that final photo. You've gotta frame it for sure!

  4. I definitely think that rider's should spend some time digesting lessons and doing some time to figure things out.

  5. That last picture is amazing! I agree about framing it :) I agree that I like more time than a week between lessons to think and prepare and do my homework. Sometimes I feel like I accomplish more that way and while the jury is still out, I do look forward to the day when I'm boarding at a smaller barn or have Katai on my property and I can take monthly lessons or something rather than every week