Monday 19 February 2018

Negotiations For Peace

My ride on Saturday started where Friday's left off. Good news, though, it got better as we went along. About 20 min in, I felt like I had B totally on side, which can be an accomplishment all in itself. As always, I worked a lot on moving her body around and after a lot of bending and suppling in walk, we had pretty much her best effort at leg yield in canter ever. So nice, tons of jump, balanced, forward without rushing. She' s learning and getting stronger!

Just one pic from my ride. proof I rode, at least?

You're probably so sick of hearing all things Bridget and canter, but it's SUCH a process. She literally couldn't even canter three years ago when I got her. Then, two years ago, we could canter, but not balanced enough to hold a 20m circle reliably. Enter a temporary focus on jumping to get her more motivated and help find a consistent pace.  A year or so ago, we started adding some of the suppling exercises we know so well from trot. Bend, counter bend, leg yield, collect a bit, extend a bit. Each one was such a fine line between building strength and her losing her balance and getting discouraged. You all know I work on this multiple times a week, so every time some of the pieces all come together it's super exciting for me, especially when she's carrying herself with minimal help from me. The best thing of all, of course, is that she's willing to try so hard, especially after a not so good ride the previous night.

Spoiler alert: If and when I buy another pony, it's going to have a good natural canter. Much as I love Bridget, and as much as I've learned thanks to her, I can't willingly face starting over with another three years of teaching a pony how to canter :) The whole process is fascinating from a learning perspective, but it is also a very slow process involving a lot of repetition. I'm grateful to have learned so much, but perhaps I can hope to delve into new and different things next time?

"New horse? Just let me look over the numbers"

"You spend all this on horses? I thought I was your favorite?!"

"I'm so disappointed in you I can't even"

Yesterday, it snowed again! So weird, it used to be lucky to get snow once a year, but the last couple of years we've had so much snow. G and I went for an hour hike that turned into an afternoon, so when we went to the barn after, I just mucked out and filled water buckets before heading home to a warm shower. I couldn't face more hours of coldness or walking B down the road in the snow and dark. I'm sure she's fine with that :)
Pic from our hike makes it look like we were in the middle of nowhere, but there is a pub one bay over where we may or may not have spent some time 'resting", lol



  1. I'm glad that the canter is coming along. I agree that buying the canter is a good idea. But your work ethic is inspiring.

  2. man as much as i loved izzy, and as talented as she was in dressage, and as fancy as her trot was, and as easy as it was to lay down some *really* nice scores with her.... the canter was just plain old not her strongest gait. and it was a constant challenge for me. riding charlie, on the other hand, who *does* naturally have a nice canter, is just worlds different. for the better. he may not be as fancy and talented as isabel but in some ways he's kinda easier actually, esp in the canter

  3. It will be interesting if/when you get another horse. It's always fun to see what people want to improve on or keep in the next equine partner!

    1. I'm looking at yearnings and two year olds on a tight budget. Fingers crossed I choose wisely and get some improvements :)

  4. that cat's face is cracking me up. Totally judging you :) HA! I am glad B was better behaved and can't wait to see what you end up. Remus also could not canter a single stride when i got him. It has been a long road for sure. UGH

    1. He's the best at judging. We annoy him to no end, lol. I think Remus and Bridget could be soul mates.