Sunday, January 22, 2012

Does NO ONE know how to longe?!

Rant to follow. In the meantime:

bobby, spyder, and memphis stuck at the top of the hill.

durh.
Hubby and I took the ATV up to get Bobby so we didn't have to trudge all the way up the hill in the snow, but we got to the top and didn't see Bobby anywhere! After cruising around the whole paddock, we finally noticed him hidden in the trees with his BFF Memphis and Red's BFF Spyder. And they were not inclined to move as all three have shoes on and it was slippery work for me to even getting up this hill in my boots. Hubby grabbed Bobby and went careening down the hill as Bobby sat on his butt and slid down beside him. I grabbed Spyder by the blanket and we slooowly crept down together. Memphis decided he was going to be brave and took off at his fancy Dutch canter--sometimes thousands of dollars worth of training serves you well.

we're coming!
What they were doing up there in the first place, who knows.

Thanks to Aimee and Liz's comments on my last post, I went to tackle my dressage saddle with renewed vigor. (Of course I forgot my girth and pad at home and had to borrow both.)

robert's wonderful withers.

where the saddle wants to stop when i slide it back.
now, looking at it, clearly waaay too far forward.

where i rode in it today. better for my legs, better fit for him, no
longer looking like a jumping dressage saddle.
I spent about fifteen minutes inching it around until I found a spot I was happy with. I thought it was a smidgum too far back, but I had BO give it a once over, and she gave it to okay. I guess Bobby's lovely withers just made it seem like it should have been farther up.

We got down to the arena, went in, tightened my girth, dropped my stirrups...and douche bag barn help came in on the tractor to "grate the arena". This involved dropping the grate too far down and digging up rocks that probably haven't seen the light of day in years. Was he done then? Oh, no. Next he brought in SNOW to "drag around the arena to cut down on the dust." Really? Really. So now not only are there big rocks, but all big snow chunks all over. What. The. Fuck. Then he grates is again. And makes it even worse. BO came down with her two lessoners and was pissed. Understandly. Again: what the fuck?!

the boys waiting patiently outside the arena.
Now the rant: While we were walking around on a loose rein when I first got on, lessoner #1 was going to ride Dreamer (a fat paint pony), but she needed to be longed first. #1 didn't know how to longe, so #2 said she would do it. Well she didn't really know how to longe either and proceeded to chase the pony around in semi circles while completely ignoring BO who's trying to tell her what to do. #1, meanwhile, is talking to her friend holding #2's horse and completely ignoring longing session.

#1 gets on finally. #2 gets on her horse who is a young OTTB mare and is prancing around like a nervous wreck (which she is most of the time). #2 says she must be acting tense because she doesn't like the polos on her back legs and not that "I don't know when the last time I rode her was." BO says to get off and longe her. "No way. I'm not longing her. She's too crazy." Really? Isn't this why you longe in the first place?! So BO longed her, she was a little jumpy, but quickly calmed downed and went to work. BO then gave #2 a long talk about how if you have a horse in training, especially a young horse, it has to be consistently ridden and worked with or she's never going to retain anything.

Then! I get a text from Sarah who started riding as I was finishing up and said that someone came to ride Spyder, didn't know how to longe period, so decided to "free longe" him instead. Clearly this is an epidemic and a longing clinic needs to take place soon.

puppies in the snow, just because.
But anyway. Bobby hasn't been ridden in just under a week so he took awhile to get into the groove of things. So long of a while that I finally just asked him to trot since his walk was a most excellent impression of an ADD giraffe. He started to focus at the trot and eventually got to work. He got a little frazzled when Sarah and Memphis came in and there were three horses going around the arena with him, but I started to work at the sitting trot and it was enough of a change for him to bring his mind back to me and he didn't lose his cool this time. We finished off with some really nice sitting work from both of us. I must say, I love this dressage saddle for sitting work and trotting in general. It really minimized my movement in a good way. Bobby got a little stuck starting out and was lagging and curling behind the bit, but I gave up any thoughts of "framing", sent him forward, and he dropped his head by himself eventually and went along quite cutely.

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