Sunday 15 December 2019

12 Rides Of Christmas

The title makes no literal sense, it just sounded fun and now its stuck in my head and I can't come up with anything else. Anyway, I am off on a break til New Year and have nothing on the schedule but horse time. Let's hope I log more than 12 rides!

Fingers crossed, I should have plenty of time to get a few more rides in on Sophie and maybe even build up a little routine and make some progress before I give her one last mini break in January. I don't have any quantitative goals defined. As we all know with baby horses pretty much every day brings a "first". One more new and exciting thing checked off the million and one things they should know on their way to being a grown up riding horse. Anyway, I'm committing to putting the time in, and we'll just have to wait and see where we get.

Growing up so quickly! She'll be 4 in April, I think.

Sophie's been on a pretty light schedule since the end of September. I was going to give her a bit more time to grow (and me to lose more weight!), but of course Sophie can't be expected to understand that and has made it obvious she's bored in her field and would like more to do. A lot more to do, preferably :) I've been completely overwhelmed with work and had some bad luck as far as being sick off and on the last couple of months, so the best I've been able to do is get her out for a walk or longe 2 or 3 times a week. It's barely enough and I've made little progress because she's just go so much energy and really needs more consistency and time than I had.

So, for Day 1 of horsey christmas, we were just getting back at it. I  tacked her up, walked her down the road to the arena, and longed her a bit, really focusing on getting her to bend her body around me amd focus rather than the counterbend and look for spooky things outside thing she's been favoring lately. I get it, she's bored, she thinks she knows it all, but yeah, I'm not just moving forward and hopping on after however many weeks and only a few rides in her life. A little check in isn't too much to ask :)

Adding extra flair to a roll back I asked for quietly from walk...because, reasons? She's so silly some days.

Day 2 was a little bit more of the same, but I did hop on (in the safety of the round pen) Sophie acted a bit like this was a new developmemt, which is fine, but also made me glad I was careful and didn't assume we'd be fine to pick up where we left off earlier in the fall. 

When you get on and realize pony has a bit of a hump in her back and your stirrups are WAY too long to be useful. Smile like it's fine, but keep your body super bracey. Because that's helpful. Seriously, I never learn. Thank god she's a good girl. 

Phew, I remembered to chill for real. Sophie's expression is letting us all know she still thinks I'm nuts.

We walked around a little, did some drunken sailor steering, got stuck and unstuck a few times, and in general just kept it very low key. The whoa/go cues improve every time and are pretty solid. Steering is kind of funny, I guess I was so focused on making sure I had access to all four corners that I'm not sure she consistently understands we can turn and go forward all at the same time. But hey, turn on the forehand or haunches is happily offered any time she's unsure, so there's that. We can just do squares, I guess  :)

Oops, here we are stuck momentarily.
Back on track. Basically at this point forward any which way is good, the steering will come.

We'll see what Day 3 and 4 bring. I'm not sure I have a helper today so we might be back to longeing or groundwork, but tomorrow G has promised to take us for a short trail walk. I think Sophie will really enjoy getting out of the arena - I know I'm looking forward to it!



  1. I love the idea of the '12 rides of Christmas'! "On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me One Dramatic Blonde' :D :D

    I would love to join you but we'll see how the weather goes.

    1. :D Next year! I'm going to make a reminder to be more organized and start 12 days before Christmas. It might make a fun blogger event we could all do?

  2. Replies
    1. So very hard! Then she figures it out and is like "la la la can't hear you, don't need you...I'm the best most smartest pony and know everything!"

  3. I can 100% relate to a horse with plenty of energy and not enough exercise.

    1. It's such a commitment to keep them busy time of year.

  4. I can also relate to a pony with excess energy and nowhere to put it :) oh well, there’s no snow in the 10 day forecast so I should be able to make it to the barn and help with burning that off.

  5. Ah yay! I'm glad your camel was very good lol