Friday 17 July 2020

Expanding The Comfort Zone

TLDR: Riding is happening.
This was a nice horsey week for me. I kept to my plan of riding the Banana Pony every second day, and I had R hop on midweek too.

Grown up but still has cute baby pony face.

Of course, R blew it out of the park and cantered Sophie for the very first time. As I could have only hoped, she just offered to step into to canter from trot and it was all very relaxed and non eventful. I may or may not have been way too excited when I saw how it looked - I’ve never thought she had a bad canter, just maybe more “flat” than I would dream of. But, it looked great, very bouncy and fun, with lots of natural cadence. Much nicer than when she’s I guess limited in space and balance in the round pen or on the longe.

Spoiler alert: My rides aren’t nearly as exciting and I didn’t canter this morning, despite having a plan to.  I was just not quite there today.
Smiling and laughing this time, though!

My riding-a-baby comfort zone got expanded in a big way this morning though - the arena was busy! I’ve been going at off times on purpose and I thought for sure a Friday morning would be “safe”. Not so much - it was the busiest I’ve seen in a very long time. There were trailers coming and going and other people riding, someone weedeating, a dog roaming the perimeter,  horses in the show stabling, more people chatting and setting up for a clinic on the weekend, plus a fairly athletic horse letting loose in the round pen.

Sophie was looky but sane enough, but I still didn’t want to get on. All the activity and people watching us was making me far more worried than her, silly anxious brain that I have:) Anyway, I know for me that’s a slippery slope I don’t want to go down, so on I got.

 Sophie is intrigued by the activity. I’m sending death wishes to the weed eater on the other side :D

And, I had a nice ride. I’m very proud of the baby pony for settling in and (mostly, lol) staying on track and listening to me even though focusing with all those things going on was a big ask for my spooky little social butterfly. Just one big spook and scoot when someone cleaning up threw a forkful of manure in the bushes behind us, but she came right back and I never once felt precarious up there. That’s confidence inspiring for sure - I think I still have PTSD from baby Ginger who would spook so huge and then panic because I was off balance and bolt off (she’s lovely these days though). Steering was maybe a tiny bit less effective than normal (not that it’s super great yet anyway ;) but I feel like she gave me 110% and I really appreciate that she’s got such a fantastic brain. Even with me not feeling the bravest when I hopped on and all those distractions, she confidently went out and did her job as best she knows how.

Totally picked this one to share from the other hundred where she’s a baby giraffe. I have no shame.

Because this happens too

But mostly it’s like this, which is more than acceptable.
Anyway, I’m calling Week 2 of Sophie being a proper riding pony in the books, and a success. Onwards to the weekend! I hope all of you have a good one.



  1. These pictures made me smile SO big! And you really, really, REALLY do not look too big for her at all. Please put those fears to rest :) You guys look amazing together!

  2. Thank you, you're very kind :)

  3. Those are some good looking pictures! What worked for me was not making the canter a "thing" but just making a big trot extend into a little canter for a few strides. Although I never cantered much in the first year, I started doing a couple of strides on ride #3.

    1. Great advice! I am hoping that will be the case for me..she thought about offering a canter a couple of times yesterday but with the grids of trot poles in our way it seemed unwise and I let it slide :D Hopefully this week!

  4. Glad you were able to have soe fun and productive rides!

  5. Y'all look wonderful together. And I really love the blues on her palomino coloring.

    1. Good thing my riding outfits and saddle pads all tend to be variations of a blue/black/grey theme, we're accidentally looking a little put together when we add the gold palomino coloring :D

  6. once she finishes filling out i think she is going to be wide enough that you will feel fine on her but I agree with above you look fine on her now!! Love how she is looking! So excited for u!