Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Death Cold Rides

I swear I've done things with my horse since our show last Sunday. Or at least I'm pretty sure I have. This death cold is really messing with my ability to function...or even just have normal brain activity. Last night my cat jumped onto the end of the bed and spent some time trying to get comfortable while I flailed my legs around convinced there was a ghost trying to walk up me until he finally got pissed and left the room. It took me way longer than it should have to register cat does not equal ghost.

That is my brain right now. It's slowly drowning in snot, and I may be responsible for the decimation of a small rain forest with the amount of tissues I've gone through.

But I love ponies, and we have had the best weather the past week so I have gotten out to the barn a few times.

is this the most adorable picture of bobby you've ever seen? yes it is.
photo by paul rehbock from the derby.
Last Wednesday was the first time back in the tack after the show. I was pretty apprehensive of what Bobby's leg was going to look like after much running and jumping despite all the preventative care I'd done for it. Fortunately, it felt cold and tight, and (knock on wood) he hasn't had so much of a bobble.

We did a quick flat ride in preparation for our lesson Friday which I almost didn't make thanks to car trouble and truck trouble that left me without a mode of transportation. Hubby stepped in to save the day though and dropped me off.

Another woman was added to our lesson (not sure if that's going to be a regular thing--I hope not) and there was a girl hacking around who wasn't all that clear on arena etiquette, plus BM and I, so things were a little hectic.
best friends.

Trainer worked around it by having me come in to lecture me quickly about what she wanted me to, and then afterwards lecturing me about what I was doing wrong. If I was really messing up while on the rail ("You've got very good control of his shoulders. What are you doing that for? I asked you to move his haunches over.") she would yell things at me.

It wasn't the best lesson for one-liners, but she did give me a lot to work on since we're missing this week's lesson thanks to resurfacing and new footing going on in the indoor. Oh, darn. Fresh indoor for the winter? That's just the worst.

My main takeaways were that Bobby is very tense and tight in his hips. That's hardly a surprise as his hind end conformation leaves pretty much everything to be desired, but it did give me a very definitive answer on why his canter often looks and feels so fucked up behind when dressaging. You can see it clearly in the video below where his hind legs just aren't really moving. My homework is to work on lots of shifting his haunches in and out (super hard, much stiffness), leg yielding, and shortening and lengthening at all three gaits to loosen up the booty.

She also wants me to start working on putting a real rein back on him. I got the thumbs up for having him move just off my seat and legs instead of pulling, but then I got yelled at for not getting him sharp enough to actually pick up his feet crisply. Dragging toes do not a good rein back make. Other things of note: if his head pops up the rein back is immediately over, and always ask for it knowing exactly how many steps back you want.

And finally, I have to stop letting him get away with dropping his poll and trying to duck behind the vertical. I'm really bad at being lazy about keeping his poll up. I find myself focusing way too much on maintaining tempo and worrying about my own position that Bobby's just like, "Imma take a break back here with my chinny chin chin tucked in." And I'm like, "Yeah, okay. Do whatever. Are you still bending around my leg on this circle? Are you still trotting at the same speed? Are my hands close enough together? Am I nagging with my heel? Am I staring at your head? Wait, where is your head? Nevermind, have we changed the rhythm?"

poll up, you sneaky bastard.

I tried to set my camera up on a standard to video the lesson, but that was a big old fail. Instead, I forced Hubby to take me back out Saturday and video for us.

now that is a screenshot of beauty. yikes.

Five minutes of unedited flat video? I can think of nothing better!

False. I can, but I don't currently have the mental capacity to cut it down to individual parts. The first three minutes are trotting both directions, the left lead canter follows that, a lap of counter canter around minute four, and a pretty flawless (and intentional--his right to left changes are boss. The left to right are horrifying.) flying change at 4:35-ish. I have separate video of right lead canter, a couple lengthenings, and some stretchy trot, but it sounds like too much effort to load those for probably only myself to watch them.

i find curling into the fetal position helps in all aspects of life.

I did a quick flat school in my jump saddle yesterday followed by a short trail ride to appreciate the 80* weather. Bobby was a little wild in the great outdoors. For Bobby that means he actually had his head and ears up, and might have looked off into the distance one or twice. He doesn't really do the whole spooky horse thing. 

I'm aiming to get out again tomorrow and Friday provided I don't accidentally sleep the entire day away. 

"no rush! i'll be here eating without you!"


  1. Cold from hell=pits. I also appreciate the fetal position, though usually from bed lately.

  2. Woman, you get sick ALL THE DAMN TIME.

    1. I think I got sick the first day of October, and it's just stayed with me ever since, lurking, trying to end my life.

  3. I really like the comment about planning ahead how many steps you want in the rein back. Definitely making a note to myself!

  4. Ugh, cold is no bueno. Hope you feel better soon!

  5. ugh hope you feel better soon!!! so jealous of the indoor!

  6. I hope you're healthy again soon!

  7. Your fetal position is a lot less fetal than mine! Haha. Feel better

  8. That is nowhere near a fetal position! Hope you feel better soon, being sick is no fun as it is, but being sick while there's good weather? Awful stuff.

  9. I hope you feel better spoon! I love that first picture of Bobby.

  10. Hope that you're feeling better!

  11. hm excellent insights about the rein back - esp that bit about if the head pops up rein back is immediately over. makes sense! in any case i hope you feel better pronto!


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