Tuesday 26 June 2018

Putting It Together

Lesson 4 Recap!

Audrey was having a bit of a princess day, and was pretty upset that:

-She was moved to a new paddock
-Everyone else was eating dinner
-The brush I was using was so.annoying.

So, tacking up was....interesting. She's come a long way, though (when she first arrived she was queen of kicking plus randomly throwing herself on the ground when it was all just too much for her, lol) so she isn't so much of a princess as she once was.

Once I got on, A was a little more business like, and I feel like I had the most productive ride yet. We did a lot of suppling exercises and bringing her forward and back to start, and the connection felt a lot more solid than previously.
Audrey's outlook on life

My biggest breakthroughs were in canter. I'm not sure I've ever learned to ride a canter correctly on a well trained horse. Yes, I can easily sit a canter, but there is a difference between sitting a canter and SITTING a canter, who knew? :) So, we spent a lot of time coming forward and back in canter with me focusing on making the smallest adjustments I could and trying to make incremental changes in her canter forward and back until we were gradually going from extended to very collected and vice versa. I watch all the good riders and of course read all the theory, but of course there is no substitute for doing the thing!

Take homes:

-Soft, soft, soft through hips, knees...basically the entire lower part of my body. Zero resistance there or she will feel trapped and get bottled up. Remember, hips coming up as I ask her to step up, anticipate her coming up to me a little in the transitions especially to give her room.

-To have her come back, it's as delicate as tightening my core the tiniest bit and bringing my shoulders back a hair. She can canter nearly on the spot while still keeping the tempo and energy, if you get the timing right. Forward again is as simple as feeling like you're exhaling while lifting ever so slightly.

- Even when she's grumpy and flailing around into a pretzel, I need to keep her straight, forward, and between my aids, working. She is allowed to have opinions, but the drama is not necessary. This is actually a little hard for me as my go to is "oops, sorry, Audrey, let's take a time out and try again!"

-Lead changes as easy as shifting my weight a little to the outside. Stay centered, T!

- And oh my goodness, is it fun when I get it right! This is not so much a conscious and decisive set of aids, but more of a dance and much more of an intuitive feel than anything I'm used to. With B, it's physical and very much a methodical step by step progression, this is not that at all.
B is all about the slower side of life

- Just the above is huge goals for me...I want every horse I ride to be that sensitive to my body, and for myself  I want the discipline, coordination and strength to be consistent enough to teach them that.

Overall, this lesson felt a lot smoother than the past ones, and again to me felt like there were big improvements being made. I still really ticked off Princess A a few times, but I think I'm getting better in my corrections when she's rude and I'm getting much better about not inadvertently pissing her off in the first place with tension or clingy legs.
Not my pic (sorry I don't know who to credt) I can relate to this though!

Guys, this horse. She's absolutely incredible. So very talented and opinionated, yet still forgiving of my rookie mistakes.



  1. It sounds like such a fantastic lesson.

    1. I'm not sure there are enough words for how lucky I feel to be offered the opportunity to learn on her.

  2. I was thanking my stars yesterday that my horse is so numb to my body when I'm having anxiety attacks in the saddle! That's a lot for a horse to take, but he holds it together when I cannot. (Not all the time, but sometimes.)

    1. Bridget is worth her weight in gold because she does the same, and in fact did the same for me when I went through a tough spot with my confidence. Good boy, Mag :)

  3. Replies
    1. So amazing to put all those puzzle pieces together so quickly!

  4. Sounds like she was having a Mare Day lol

    1. Every day is Mare Day, lol. I understand your decision to own geldings :)

  5. She sounds like SO much fun to ride! And I remind myself of the "keep lower body loose" a looottttt. So much easier said/thought than actually implemented lol

  6. Oh, mares, ahah!!

    Glad you had a good lesson :)