Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bloggers are the best.

You guys are going to have to start billing me for your advice because I've been using it and it's been working really well. You're a well educated group of ladies and I'm taking full advantage. Keep commenting and critiquing away! I have a products wish list of stuff you guys have recommended.

I gave myself a very specific plan of action for these past three days to make sure no one got pissed off--myself or Bobby. Amazingly, things went swimmingly.

Tuesday:

I started off longing Bobby in side reins to show him that I meant business. I worked him on the line for twenty minutes with lots of praise to show him that I also sometimes like him.


Then we went balls to the wall (such an eloquent phrase) on dressage work for the next forty minutes. Lots of mixing it up between walk and trot, and a couple of okay canters. For an outdoor dressage school, it was really friggin' amazing all around. Bobby was listening so well to my half halts and my leg that I didn't once get flustered with him. Olivia passed the arena to get Kidd and said, "Carly, you have a dressage pony!" Yay!

I'm attributing a great part of this success to a new bit recommended long ago by Aimee at I am the Sprinkler Bandit. It's a french link with a long flat middle piece. I settled on a plain egg butt during my epic bit search because I couldn't find one of these laying around, and then the other day I spotted Sarah's bridle with the bit attached. I made the appropriate grabby hands and she told me to try it out. Bobby was Foamy Face Magee and so happy in it. Definitely ordering one.

We finished by cantering over all the jumps from Sunday with all but the barrels lowered to 2'. I wanted easy fences so we could focus solely on distances. And guess what? He got a perfect distance to every single one from both directions. He had a big canter after all that dressage work and he just cruised right over them. Plan of attack for Sunday: lots of flat work for our jumping warm up.

Wednesday:

I got to the barn a little early so after grooming Bobby and spraying Blue Kote on his latest chomp mark (even though he's been switched to a different field!), I went up to watch the end of the campers ride. It. Was. Hilarious. BO had them playing a game of tossing a water bottle to each other in a circle, and I couldn't help but giggle each time on of the poor schoolies got clocked with it. They earned their keep and their cookies by just standing there and taking it.

I gathered all the jumps and set the grid suggested by NSRider over at The Imperfect Perfect Horse with a minor tweak for arena size: 2' vertical, 1 stride, xrail bounce, 2 strides to a 2'3 oxer. This grid rode really, really well and Bobby killed it. I didn't have a single problem with it except for my very last time through which I got on video by coercing the girl riding with me to take it. Bobby took an awkward spot to the first fence because of the bad turn I made to it. But it wasn't a chest-the-jump short spot so I was okay with that and ended it there.   
look at pony face using his neck.
now if i could just re-learn how to release....
Last time through:   
Thursday:  
chillin' with bo's dog.
I had another dressage school planned and ended up in the outdoor again since the indoor had poles strewn about in various crazy trail class patterns. Longed in side reins to start us out, but cut it short this time because it was so hot out. That was a mistake; Bobby alternated between dumping his whole giant body into my hands and trying to get me to carry him, and making drama llama faces at the horses in the field. I gritted my teeth and got off and stuck him back on the longe in side reins. Another ten minutes and he was ready to go this time. He gave me fabulous work from there on out, especially at the canter--though I like to think me being insanely focused on sitting up straight and staying centered in the saddle had a lot to do with it. Yay for better riding?
There was a new grid set up so after popping over the green xrail a few times, I let Bobby at it. Uh, it was a disaster. I don't know who set it, but it was clearly someone without a measuring wheel. Total disaster and I apologize profusely to Robert for making him scramble through it. Once more over the green X and we were done. Tomorrow he'll have off, and then trail ride Saturday. Ride times for Sunday: Dressage - 8:54 Stadium - 11:17 XCountry - 11:32 It's going to be an early morning as Bucks is two and a half hours away, but at least we'll be home early and avoid the worst of the heat! (Again, sorry for the shite formatting at the end. I don't know why Blogger doesn't like spaces!)

4 comments:

  1. Yay progress!! I don't know what it is about that bit, but it works really well for Mr. Dressage Cuna.

    Good luck this weekend!!

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  2. So happy to hear things are turning to the better for you and your boy! I love that gymnastic, makes you ride tight (bounce) to more long/open (strides to oxer). Keep us posted!

    May try that bit on Koda, he's in love being the giraffe

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  3. The French Link is one bit I *need* in my ... uhm ... collection. Not sure what I'm going to use on Wildcat (my new horse as of today!). I won't be riding for a couple of months. He just gets to sit back and get spoiled and fat!

    And I'm glad Bobby and you are having some better times together. One great time shall lead to another!

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  4. YAY!!! Love the progress! Woo hoo Carly and Bobby! :)

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