Friday, March 7, 2014

Hokey Pokey

I'll be making a graph or two for everyone's lesson fees this weekend. It's going to have to wait until then because the very thought of opening Excel makes my brain freak the fuck out. Numbers? No. More like DEATH.

the caped crusader rises from his slumber.

Bobby got a brief spin on the longe yesterday simply for the fact that I completed my set of Dover boots and I wanted to see if the XL I bought would fit his hind legs. They did, but barely. Dang, those things run small.


Fuck, I'm so bored with this post already. Does anyone else ever start a post and just be like, "Who would want to read this? I don't even want to read this."?

Because I do that all the time.

So I've been worried that I wouldn't know how to make this blog exciting if Bobby decided he was going to continue his trend of being a buttery soft fanc-a-saurus. Fortunately, this is Bobby we're talking about and he was more than willing to be a little bit of a diva today.

A quick tanget, but guess what else we've gotten over the past week-ish. My mom was nice enough to fund the purchase of a BoT dressage pad for her grandson and we tried it out today for the first time. No, I don't have a dressage saddle. Yet. I thought it was rather cunning of me to buy the dressage version, and then tell Hubby, "Now I have to have a dressage saddle, or I can't use this pad!" He was all, "We'll see." I'll break you, Hubby. Just wait. But in the meantime, I'm just using it with my jump saddle because I'm classy like that.

with free embroidery from smartpak.

This post is going on and on and I haven't even written a word about riding yet. Don't worry. I'll remedy that pronto.

The trot:

Getting Bobby's teeth done did nothing to lighten him off  my left rein. It feels like I've got a semi truck attached to my shoulder when tracking right, even if I'm dangling the rein on the buckle. (Well, that might be a slight exaggeration, but he is very heavy.)  He's willing to bend when tracking left so it's less noticeable how much he's leaning. I literally have to drop my right rein and use both hands to crank his head left when trotting to get him to even think about turning his head that way. At the walk, fine. At the canter, easier. But no amount of leg, or seat, or dropping the contact, or picking up more contact can get him to counter bend and lighten up.

The thing is, he's wonderfully light when doing lateral work. He just can't go straight--and he needs to tip his head left to be straight. I can't even explain this properly to you guys because I know someone is ready to pounce with a "You need to get his body straight, not his head." Well, durh. Thanks for nothing, anonymous blogger that has never seen me or my horse go in person. His body IS straight. It's his neck and head that aren't joining in on the back half party.

one fabulous forelock flip for the ladies coming right up.

The canter:

Dressage is all about being harmonious with your partner, and looking like you're sitting there doing nothing to the casual observer. I can tell you with confidence that Bobby and I are not at that stage in the canter. He's crooked, he's quick, he's on his forehand, and his brain is a sensitive little egg shell screaming, "I'M IN A GLASS CASE OF EMOTION."

As such, all my body parts are moving all over his body parts to try to package him into a straight line that's not about to gallop us head-on into a wall. It's not very pretty, but as he gets stronger it will get easier. Dealing with his sensitive mind is the biggest challenge.

I'll half halt, he'll slow down. I'll tell him he's a good boy, he'll take that as his cue that he did a good job and can trot. I'll add leg, he'll interpret that as a cue for a simple change and pick up the opposite lead. I'll bring him back to trot and ask for the correct lead, he'll LOSE HIS FUCKING MIND BECAUSE OH MY GOD DON'T I KNOW ANYTHING, BOBBY IS ALWAYS RIGHT, STOP TELLING HIM WHAT TO DO.

But his counter canter is currently pretty nice both ways.

so sassy.

Lateral work:

One massive perk of him being so much steadier in the contact and working more from his booty (because he still really is making huge improvements, I swear) is that his lateral work is getting really easy for him. He's stepping under himself and really crossing his hind legs while leg yielding. Plus, he looks super cute in his boots. Two thumbs up for sideways movement.

donkey ears.

I'll try to get jumping video this weekend. In the meantime, I'll just be sitting here celebrating the fact that I was able to put Bobby's neck-less medium weight on today. Yay for a hint of spring!


  1. Are any of our posts about riding anymore? I feel like most of it is tack and pictures and random ramblings and questionnaires and I get bored with my own blog sometimes too. I do love graphs though... give me graphs or give me death. Also I just like thinking that maybe Bobby sits in his stall all day like a dog on his butt because that feels like something Bobby would do.

  2. XL? Simon wears a medium, Bobby is giant!

    1. His legs are the size of tree trunks. I think they stole all the mass from his scrawny neck.

    2. Ooo I may now blame Diva's scrawny neck on her giant legs as well! XL is also nearly too small for her!

  3. Molls is kind of the opposite bend wise... going to the right I feel like I have to ride her in constant shoulder-fore to make her straight. Luckily it's not *too* noticeable from the ground. I think...

  4. He's posing like a pro in that last picture! Come on spring!

  5. Ha. Everytime I think that about my blog I delete the whole thing and start again. Glad you ramble on though. Still makes me laugh.

  6. That first picture!! Awesome!!

  7. Just a note for something you may want to try, since is seems uber uneven! Can you get him to soften and put his nose to your boot on both sides? My gelding is always sticky on the left side, but gets better if I flex him to my boot each day. I then push him over and disengage his hindquarters, it appears to make him quite softer and loosens him up for lateral work.

    If you have no idea what I'm going on about, drop both your reins then pick up your left one and gently pull it to your hip, if he softens to your touch and moves his head in the direction of your boot, drop the rein immediately and give him a pat and repeat for the right hand side. It can take a while to build up (he may only tilt his poll slightly at first) to going straight to your boot but it is a fantastic supplying exercise! And it makes it pretty loud and clear if your horse is tight and tense on a particular side.

    Good luck, I thoroughly enjoy reading you blog! Love the boots.

    1. Yep, he's able to do this. It's our go-to exercise for when he gets "stuck" and not bending left. It's just at the trot where it feels like his neck is a metal rod I can't move left--which would straighten his neck out from being over bent to the inside when we're going right.

    2. Its strange it's only at the trot! Funny pony. Hopefully he will loosen up for you soon!

  8. Love the photos & have to say that your blog has a whole lot more riding posts than mine at the mo!
    Plus your Bobby convos & insight into how his brain works are priceless :-D

  9. I want to offer to make your graphs, but then I want to throttle myself for even thinking about it, because I do that shit at work. Excel ismy bitch, though.

    And yeah, I start writing posts and then I abandon them.

  10. That first picture seriously reminds of that seen from "Blair Witch Project" when he's like creepily standing in the corner... Bobby love.


  11. Awww, graphs. Not sure what I would ever make a graph of, but I always enjoy reading the blog posts, regardless of what you think.


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