Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What was I thinking?!

The report from the barn is that Bobby slept the day away yesterday, snoring his brains out. Such a classy dude.

Today I decided to implement stage one of the New Carly Plan: No stirrup work. And not just drop my stirrups while riding. Oh, no. I was instead stupid ambitious and yanked them right off my saddle! Are you cringing in sympathy yet? You're probably just shaking your head.

I didn't have my spurs on because I didn't want to accidently jab poor Bobby as I flopped around. I picked up a dressage whip in the arena and he didn't even freak out. Small win! Within the first five seconds of getting on, I was doubting my sanity and thinking about going back down to the barn to grab stirrups. But I manned up, giving myself a good degrading pep talk. "You want to ride better, weakling? You want to stop bouncing around at all gaits? You want to be able to survive if you lose a stirrup cross country? Then shut the fuck up and get on with it." I'm available for motivation speaking if anyone's interested.

I did fifteen minutes of walking before finally building up the courage to trot. I was prepared for either bouncing all over the place, or only staying in the saddle because Bobby was doing a western pleasure jog. However, I must not be nearly as pathetic as I think I am because as witnessed in the video I took (which I'm not going to share because it will take ten hours to upload a video where I trot into the frame for five seconds and move on), Bobby was actually trotting quite nicely and I wasn't bouncing at all. Success!

The canter was equally as "easy" as long as we were going down a straight side. I'm sure it's a little bit of both of us, but we really need to work on staying upright on circles. I was definitely leaning and Bobby was definitely dropping his shoulder. We did a few simple changes across the arena with great success.

on our way to a change.
As a sidenote, Bobby's been so good at getting one-step simple changes across the diagnol, I think I should start trying to teach him flying changes. He just doesn't like to bring that butt with him.

I did thirty minutes in the arena with probably only ten minutes cummulative of trot and canter. It's not much, but it's a good place to start. I finished with the arena work by cantering him over a tiny vertical (maybe 2', if that). The canter in was great and then I curled into some sort of fetal frog position over the jump. Bobby landed and gave me one of his famous "I don't think this is a good idea" backwards glances. I agreed and we didn't try again.

We finished off with our thirty-ish minute trail ride loop. Bobby was bouncing along to get to his galloping hill, but all I had to do was squeeze the reins and tell him "Easy" and he politely settled into a lope to start us out. I didn't feel like I was going to die, so I let him work up into a strong canter and he stepped right into a walk when we got to the top. Most rateable eventing pony ever? Check!

My legs, of course, feel like death, but I think they'll be fine with a good stretch. I want to do no stirrups once a week, two point work in the xcountry field once a week, and grid jumping once a week. Our next show isn't until August 12th so there's plenty of time to become even more awesome.


  1. OoOO I feel your pain... literally. I too have implemented once a week no stirrup work. I survive no longer than 30min, but I do yank the stirrups all the way off. Unfortunately, tonight is the night to get back on the literal and proverbial horse. Wish me luck!

  2. Love no stirrup work, It's easier taking the stirrups off the saddle because then you have 0 excuses!

  3. I told myself I would ride without stirrups today.

    Then I never left the walk.


  4. Ha, I have the same pep talks to myself when I run.

    Don't quite have as much motivation to torture myself when it comes to riding at the moment unfortunately.. I'm such a weakling right now.

  5. I haven't commited to stirrup-less work but have been doing lots of 2-point and half-seat...really makes me concentrate on flexing my ankles and keeping my heels down. Good for you!


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