Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Release and Reward

I debated for a long time yesterday about whether or not I wanted to do a ride on Bobby this morning. Would he be so tired from our trail ride that he'd use that as an excuse to throw a tantrum to try to get out of work? Or would he be nice and limber from getting out and about for awhile?

horse loves napping. 

In the end, I took into account that we had mostly walked, and his walk was beautifully round and stretchy completely of his own accord. Plus we're quickly coming up on shows every single weekend for a month straight, and I know I'm going to miss Saturday due to volunteering and the Derby. Dressage day it was then.

I went in with a game plan: short, sweet, hit the lateral stuff, lots of praise, be done.

What we actually did: short, sweet, hit the lateral stuff, lots of praise, and we're done. That's right! Bobby was willing to work with The Man, and I did my absolute best to not offend his delicate sensibilities.

laying around eating snacks is also one of my fave hobbies

I let him have a nice stretch at the walk and trot to warm up with lots of little neck scratches every time he reached down into the contact on his own. He still powers around at the trot, but I let him roll with the thought that as long as he stays balanced, it's better for him to get his energy out now while not doing any harm than using it to fling himself around the ring.

I brought him up at the walk before moving on to the sitting trot and keeping him more collected. Shoulder-in this way, shoulder-in that way, medium across the diagonal, and halt, rein back, and another walk break with candy. Collect again, work on the renvers at the walk (so hard), and then into the canter.

We did the canter counter and simple change movements from 2-2 with zero issues--keeping the forward, none of the tension, though maybe a little above the bit on the departs. Fine, whatever, everyone stayed calm. I brought him back to the trot, played with a couple more mediums, and finished with a flawless turn on the haunches.

he knows he's not supposed to leave his stall when
the door is open, but sometimes he likes to throw a
mini rebellion and stick his foot out. 

I feel good about that ride. It was short, but it was all of the tricks and most of the quality with none of the drama. Making dressage rewarding and easy for Bobby is so key. Hopefully we can both continue this trend. We've got ribbons to get, bitches!


  1. Damn son, you do have some ribbons to be getting, a show every weekend! Dazam! Glad that Bobby was not the typical Drama Queen and gave you more quality!

  2. Huh. I should try candy during the ride. I wonder if that would ease some of the anxiety.

  3. Huh. I should try candy during the ride. I wonder if that would ease some of the anxiety.

  4. Way to put your big boy pants on, Bobby!

  5. Woohoo, Bobby showed up to work today! Hope he keeps up that streak, it would be nice for him to play nice all week for you

  6. Yay Bobby! Way to kick that dressage's ass!

  7. Yay Bobby for having his marbles!

  8. Yeah! Hopefully with a few more low stress, high snacks rides he'll figure out that it doesn't have to be awful.

  9. Maybe he needed a change in scenery?

  10. Whoa Bobby. Careful or we will think you're selling out. Or have maybe been replaced by body snatchers lol

  11. Yay for good pony!


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