Blogging has turned into a bit of a bummer for me this year though. I'm in a very weird head space where I enjoy interacting with with people through social media...except when I don't. I feel like I'm a very OK rider, and I am so completely happy being a very OK rider. I also feel like that's not an okay thing around these parts. I'm not into living in lessons, or scheduling every minute of my horse's life, or spending every second of my free time consuming intensive training knowledge. No judgement if that's you, but that isn't fun to me personally.
What is fun to me is riding my horse and improving him as best I can to reach my own Opie and Carly oriented goals. No one else has these goals, as similar as they might seem to your own, because no one else is us.
I was finally, finally able to finagle my poor toe into the world's most beat up sneaker which lead to me putting my stirrups back on at the end of my ride Saturday. No one else has seemed particularly impressed by this, but after being stirrup-less and in a post-op shoe for a month, I AM SO EXCITED.
|thinking really hard about doing zoomies instead|
It let us get back to mandated stretchy rides, cantering without getting taken off with, and our short term goal of being comfortable in a jump saddle post haste so BM and I can go cross country schooling before it snows. (Which, it was almost 90* this weekend, but I know you, NY. It could snow any day now.)
|i was so happy to tell bm we jumped a jump, and then she told me her horse|
was foot sore. c'mon man! fortunately he should be good to go again soon.
We were able to do some super fun, mostly pointless, yet highly rewarding things in our ride this morning. I had a sneaker, I had my stirrups, the horse was filled with candy, morale was fucking high.
We spent a long time at the walk because that's our fave. I trailered some ponies down to a hunter pace yesterday and two of my barn mates were in the truck with me. They were discussing how BM has been on their cases lately about getting the lesson horses to Walk and not trudge along in lesson horse mode, and how it was so much work. I could not relate. My horse screamed his fool head off Saturday morning, spun around in a circle, almost fell over, and got smacked upside the head for his troubles, but hot damn can he walk.
|"MY FRAAAANNNNZZZZZ" |
can you hear the drama? because i can.
After getting cooking into his giant, marching, back swinging me nearly out the saddle walk, we threw in a couple leg yields both ways with no fuss. Once I figured out that corralling the shoulder to keep him straight was the key to those, they've been great. Then I decided I wanted to see if he remembered the half pass. We worked on them exactly once this spring and he found them super easy.
First we had to make sure the shoulder-in was good.
It was not.
|me: imma pull on you|
opie: cool, imma brace against you
After seeing my media from Saturday, I knew I had to stop fucking pulling at the lateral work. He throws his head up, I pull back to compensate for the sudden slack in my reins, he tenses everything, nothing works, the end.
I started off fixing this by dropping ALL contact. Opie was like, "Cool, cool, free rein to do whatevski, here's a little llama anyway."
So then I had to go and fix that, too.
We had to agree to meet in the middle which took the length of both long sides. There was some sitting on the kick boards and plenty of head flipping, but he eventually got it. You no pull, I no pull, still do what I'm asking though, the end. I did still have to work on other stuff. Like, okay, you're soft over your topline, but stop bending your neck like a C. Shoulders being held responsible for things is definitely a weak spot for our Dopie Horse.
We finally moved on to the half pass. He is so good at these, I love him. For all that Bobby loved flinging his body sideways, and how easy he found the rest of the lateral work, the half pass never seemed great. Opie is so good, I can't. He got so many pats and scratches he finally stopped to look back at me like, "If I am A Very Good Horse, you should give me moar candies." SO I DID OBVIOUSLY.
|is not shy about expressing his emotions. like how he's here expressing his|
displeasure over being asked to do anything when his friends get to go outside
After hitting up a few halts where the new rule is No Llama--Ever....
|the halt is not for staring at your adoring fans, sir.|
...we moved on to the canter.
He stepped right into from the walk continuing his Very Good Boy streak. I feel like the up transitions to the canter are finally a reliable thing, even if the down transitions can still be a bit hurried/harried. Only took almost two years!
We frolicked around in half seat for a few laps before I decided to see the state of his flying change. Having ridden racehorses, I can pull these out of pretty much any OTTB. I wanted to see how far off from dressage pony changes his are.
They are very far, guys. They're accessible, and they're clean, but they are hands down, "I was a sprinter, see how fast I go the second I get my new lead! SO FAST!!!!!!! The flying part is my favorite part of this game!!!!!" I gave him some candy anyway because at least knowledge is there?
And really he gets candy for everything. Bribery as a means to results is my training motto. Take it or leave