Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Dopie Doing the Dressage

It's only taken me into the second week of the year, but I finally feel like I'm back on a normal schedule again. I really hate the holidays people. Let's call it what it is.

I was feeling a bit lost in my horse life as well because I wasn't getting any time in the saddle. I was convinced that my horse had lost all of his training. Like, all of it. Would he even know how to horse when I finally got the time to ride again?! Would he know anything ever what if he forgets how to even walk oh god why do people have to socialize on my time?????

It was a period of great angst, you guys.

opie says, "check yourself, lady. i self-train."

Fortunately, #childgenius in the house and all my fears were immediately assuaged.

Did he rein back like a shuffling, inverted slob? Nope, diagonal pairs clearly lifted and right back into the walk.

Did he fake the stretch and just face plant about the ring? Nope, taking the contact down and lifting his back up.

Did he suddenly decide contact wasn't a thing and walk around like a rabid llama? Nope, light, easy pressure in the reins and struttin' off.

The horse is fine, the horse is trained, the horse does not give two shits if he gets ridden twice in two weeks as long as the cookies keep coming.

grey pony cookie delivery

We have, however, been tackling some new and old problems. The fun part of dressage is that you literally never stop training the same old shit, you just get to call it different things.

The main focus of the past couple rides though has been really engaging that inside hind. Opie has conned me into letting him get away with not using it as much as he can for long enough. It's easy to be tricked, too (at least when you're a multi-aids halfwit that has the focus of a gerbil--I was made for this discipline, what can I say?) because his short little neck is good at bending and making you think the rest of him is being just of flexible. But that is false.

The other day there were a couple of jumps set in the middle of the ring that made a nice 15m pen right in front of the mirror. I locked Opie into this jail cell and we worked at all three gaits both directions, stepping under and keeping all parts of the body aligned. He said it was the shits and super hard, but he was perfectly capable and willing to do it once I made it clear this was the exercise.

i am sooo out of media. riding bestie should be up soon to remedy that.

Then I gave him the day off because he worked really hard and I didn't want him to hate me. Currently I'm going through this phase of I AM NOT WORTHY TO BE YOUR RIDER. I basically feel that if I'm not actively worshiping Dopie then he's going to stop being so amazing.

But emphasis on "phase". I'm sure he'll be a real tool soon and I'll be a hundred percent over it.

I've been incorporating serious work with that hind leg in every ride since, but this morning I wanted to devote the majority of my time to the canter transitions. I'd left the arena doors open after dragging the ring so that was a bit of distraction at first until I reminded him that he may be getting worshiped but I am god in this relationship so pay the fuck attention. All was good after that and we warmed up with lots of 10 and 15m circles and spirals. Engage, bro.

"but my soul mates are out there."

Dudes, it's amazing what you can accomplish in a short amount of time when you go in with a game plan. While the departs still aren't as round as I want them to be, he sitting down and stepping up into them instead of just lurching into the canter and then getting sorted a couple strides later. The down transitions were fucking fabulous. The stronger he gets and the more collection he's able to hold the easier it is for him to just step back into the trot. Duh, of course, but it's nice to feel that all the mindless bitch work is doing it's job.

He tried to get strong and sassy heading towards the open door and I just gave a big half halt with my seat, and he sank like ten feet (possibly less) onto his haunches and brought his front end up about thirty miles (actual distance) and gave me the most ridiculous-in-an-amazing-way canter. I let him keep if for half the long side before back to the trot, change direction, and then over the jump left standing in the ring to finish on a fun note.

He sure does suck at lateral work compared to Bobby who got a lot of practice going sideways by flinging himself violently around the arena, but he's getting a grip on the collected (and stretchy!) work light years ahead of the big brown moose.

maybe one day you'll be worthy of wearing otto for real

15 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Hopefully one day he looks swoon-worthy in it while riding!

      Delete
  2. he is so dang cute. Glad you have such a genius on your hands :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. He's so smart. Even my 100 year old horses (actual ages) forget they're trained after some time off.

    ReplyDelete
  4. #Childgenius is clearly meant to be worshiped. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. He already wears Otto with pride!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As long as candy gets shoved in his face while he's wearing it. Otherwise it's offensive and only there to be chewed on.

      Delete
  6. aw i love when they just come back into work like somehow they grew up a little bit with the time off!

    ReplyDelete

If you can't say anything nice, fuck off.