Thursday, May 4, 2017

Go Time

Could alternately be titled: Oh, shit. My horse is trained beyond my capabilities.

BM didn't waste time in this morning's lesson. She put us quickly through w/t/c and lateral work at the stretchy trot (which seemed exceptionally difficult in my brain, but wasn't all that bad), and then told me to pick a test for us to work on. Obviously it wasn't the warm up I'll be using at shows, and Bobby wasn't quite ready to jump right into a test, but show season starts next weekend and it's time to start dissecting what parts of the test need the most attention instead of encompassing all the things.

And really? Bobby was so chill for his abbreviated warm up and just went about his business doing what was asked that there wasn't any big picture stuff to work on. No worries though. We gave BM plenty of nitty gritty things to put on the list.

i have no new pony pictures, so enjoy these shots of lake ontario consuming the shoreline

I picked 2-2 because even though it's been over a year since I've ridden a First test I feel like we can scoot through 1-2 with few enough issues to notch those scores needed towards our Bronze without too much effort and then be done with it forever. Dressage judges love to throw points at Bobby, though they do have to mark him down heavily when he's flinging himself violently across the ring on two legs.

Not that he's ever done that.

More than once per show.


Anyway, I like 2-3 a lot and don't have any problems with it that I wouldn't have at 2-2 where the counter canter work feels a little turn and burn for my giant moose horse. 2-2 it was.

the water is usually a good 15' from the top of the pier
not nearly level with it.

I'd warned BM ahead of time that Bobby's been breaking to the canter in the medium trot and since I hadn't gotten around to schooling them yet (since it involves one tap on the butt with a dressage whip and then forty minutes of convincing him I didn't just beat him before he's like, "Oh, okay, let's just do a medium trot then. What's the big deal?" You tell me, bro. You tell me.), he basically just ran through the first one and we carried on ignoring it for the moment.

The SI was all over the place, but the serpentine at X was easy and he shifted over the travers just fine. His turn on the haunches have gotten so much bettter. Now that he's fucking relaxed, he doesn't tighten his back up and can actually step around without being like, "Sorry, I'm a fucking support beam that is immovable. Let me just lurch around like a cement llama." He went right down for the free walk though BM told me we can still be better. For Bobby, it's already miles ahead of where he was last year.

We kind of fell apart at the canter. I tried gunning him into the medium with my legs since our indoor isn't quite the size of a standard ring unless you really stuff yourself into the corners, and the canter movements tumble over the top of each other in this test. Bobby was not okay with that and lost his shit a little bit, but after having a quick walk with a pat to mentally regroup, he went back to work without losing his shit for all eternity.

puppies were not impressed there's nowhere to romp around anymore

After a quick chat about what needed to be addressed, we schooled the SI a bit. The problem is that Bobby has gotten so bendy and so supple that I'm overriding him. He's a sensitive dude already, but now he's light and like goo to ride so where before I had to bully him around a little bit, instead I have to scale my aids way back and trust that he's going to do it. I kept asking for too much bend and too much angle at the SI. What would have produced an acceptable SI last year is now one step away from him folding himself in half. It's a big adjustment for me, but BM pointed out that I'm already adjusting with every single to each new massive bound forward he's taking. Baby steps for me, giant hurdling steps for Bobby.

The test and the work on the SI was the warm up Bobby needed, and when we came down the centerline for the second time he was raring to go. For the medium BM told me to let it build (something I've also been told by judges, damn it). He's got the energy coming from behind in the collected trot, the medium is just letting it open up into a bigger stride. I don't need to goose him with my legs, I just need to lighten my seat and let him move up and out into my hands.

Better with the SI this time. The medium canter was slow but relaxed. There was a difference in length, but definitely needs more. I can play around with this on my own. He picked up the wrong lead on the first simple change at B because I didn't bend him back to the right.

coming for your houses. also no worries, ny. it's cool to be 40* in may. 

The theme was that I need to manage less, ride more...while riding with less aids. It's all going to come from the seat now with legs only going on for steering and lateral work. He's carrying himself so well and so easily that the power and lightness is there. Now comes the fine tuning, and I so need to work my lady balls off to keep up with him.

I'm starting to get excited for this season. If he can stay relaxed and I can force my brain to stay focused, we might actually have an entire season where Bobby doesn't leave the ring. #highstandards #wehavethem

As far as feeties go, he got his wedge pads put on yesterday with the promise that Farrier would have his aluminium wedges in when he gets done next. Farrier seemed kind of guarded about if he's even going to be able to do real trail rides anymore, but rallied with, "If these don't work, we'll find something else!" Right. Stay positive. (Quietly vomits a little.) At least Bobby seems to have accepted this as his new life. I thought for sure he was going to turn into a rabid monster when jumping was taken out away, but so far so good.


  1. It's that whole less is more thing huh? I really suck at that. Oddly, I had the exact same lesson last week except it was over jumps. Glad to hear Bobby is accepting life as a dressage pony! Hope the shoes do the trick.

  2. Pretty pictures even if they're mildly terrifying! Your dogs' expressions say it all. Also Bobby sounds ready to bring it on at the show. Yesssss.

  3. Was that at Sodus Point?! I love that area <3

  4. Hahaha cement llama! Glad life as a dressage pony is working out, have fun at the show :)


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