Saturday, February 16, 2013

Fe-brrrruary dressage lesson

Since I can't get up to LAZ at all in February I decided to substitute another dressage lesson instead.  Dear God what has happened to me?  During the last lesson I was still dealing with "bad to the tail bone" Annie who learned through a serious of cumulative events she could get away with being nappy and bucky. I managed to get that mostly ironed out after a dressage lesson, more blanketing, and a boot camp style jumping lesson with LAZ so I was looking forward to showing that we actually sort of kinda knew what we were doing.

Friday night's ride wasn't very productive, the temps had dropped and I've finally accepted that Annie really isn't a cold weather pony so I spent most of Friday's ride cantering.  While snorting like a race horse.  A 14.2 hand hairy race horse. 

I probably got on a bit too early for my lesson Saturday but I wanted to make sure Annie was well warmed up and out of the "NO TOUCHES OR I BUCKS" phase.  I let her trot around on little contact then we did some canter with me out of the saddle (fun in a dressage saddle) and some bucking to show off our athleticism to the people in the viewing gallery.  When our lesson started Annie was ready to accept some contact and some leg so I think it paid off.

I told Nancy that I wanted to work on sideways, Annie goes to the left pretty well but not to the right.  Nancy believes that I hold too much with my left leg when going right so I don't give her anywhere to go.  I had better responses when I worked really hard on holding my left leg off of her side and not clamping down.

 We weren't QUITE this good.


Annie was much better in her contact but she showed her distaste by flipping her nose out and yanking the reins.  Nancy says that Annie does this because she doesn't like the work we are doing and she is going to either slow down and get behind to make it easier, or pull the reins out of my hands and run to avoid it.  So I worked on staying upright and keeping my elbows by my sides so I was more stable.

We did LOTS of cantering.  The transitions into and out of were not pretty but I got some great tips on getting a better trot after the canter, by pushing forward and asking her to adjust to my rhythm, and staying in motion with her but not ahead of her I was able to get some good responses.  In the canter we have upped the ante by half halting and asking her to not only flex a bit but to stay soft, round, and even.  Hard work for me because I didn't add enough leg so every time I touched the bit she broke gait.  Not as pretty to the right by far but I was able to sit on her back more and work a bit on adjusting the canter and not just hanging off the side!  Nancy asked me to get the right lead off the inside leg because the outside leg just pushes her onto her right shoulder more and makes her fall in.  This seemed to work pretty well.

We also DID NOT look like this horse.


Nancy was really complimentary of the work Annie was doing and the huge change in her way of going from the last lesson so I was really pleased. 

I edited together a video of our lesson, you can view it here!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A trio of Cute

Sunday I got a phone call from a friend asking for helping filming and making sales videos of some ponies she'd been working with.  All three were very green under saddle, having 6 rides or under but had the benefit of extensive ground work to prep them for work in harness (I think a couple had worn harnesses and drug tires).  Since they were at a driving barn this made sense.  I think that the three are well on their way to being well rounded ponies, suitable for children or even a small pony sized adult!

Here are the three I filmed, and my finished videos.  The cutting, pasting, trimming, and sticking together isn't that hard but I do need some work making the videos look "fancy."  Plus, the camera person really stinks.  Well, I stink.  I need a better video camera and a tripod to limit the amount of shaky hand cam. 

This is Melody.  She's my favorite.  Although she's only 13.3 hands she looks bigger on the ground because she has a well sprung barrel. I thought she was the most forward of the bunch but she had a smart brain and was willing and eager to please.  I think she'd make the idea pony dressage horse for a small adult or a junior rider who wanted something to polish their dressage on.  And of course she can jump!



This is Symphony, she's just turned three and is still in that awkward baby stage.  As the baby she's had the least ground work and under saddle work yet she performed just as well as her sisters.  She's going to make an adorable kids pony


Pony 3 is Rhapsody, she was very quiet and unfazed by everything and I thought her nice quiet nature means she'd be just as suitable for a pony hunter as a pony eventer.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Comment Away!

Just a quick note that I'm still getting used to this whole Blogger thing, I went through my options and edited the commenting abilities so more people are able to make comments.  If you've wanted to comment before but were not able, please try again! 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

17 foot bounce gymnastic

Annie's been doing really well in her dressage, she feels nicely forward, she has TWO canter leads, and she's doing some sideways crap.  Although I think that's probably Annie's opinion. 

She gets leg yield, easy peasy.  She's sort of starting to get leg yielding with her head or tail to the wall and shoulder in.  I  introduced haunches in the other night and she gave a good effort. 

Well, ummm, sort of. 

As long as all these exercises are performed off the left leg we're golden.  The right leg?  Well I might as well not even have one.  So if we can find a dressage test where all the fancy crap is just off the left leg we're good. 

Thursday night Aunty Rachel came out for a jumping lesson.  She set up a one stride to a one stride with a entry placing pole down the centerline.  I always find things down the centerline difficult.  The arena isn't that big and you really really have to use your corners and not overshoot the centerline or let the shoulders bulge out.  On the landing side there isn't any room to make up my mind about which direction we're headed.  The last time we did this gymnastic I had a ton of problems making it into the gymnastic.

This week I had an easier time reaching the centerline although you can still see we get a little crooked in the video. 

Annie was petty happy to be jumping, even though jumping is hard work it isn't NEARLY as hard as sideways crap.  Rachel set the gymnastic a little bit short, 17 feet for the first trot in one stride instead of the standard 18.  Since the indoor is small and Annie is short we  usually set things a little short. 

Little did we know that beneath the mild mannered Clark Kent exterior is a Super Pony.  Capable of getting a little too big for her britches and bouncing the first one stride.  Yes, we bounced 17 feet. Then easily made the next one stride.  Annie was smug.  Rachel was rendered almost speechless.  I sat it well, although afterward I felt like getting off and kissing the ground.  After that I started using my voice and shoulders to request that she slow the heck down.

All in all a great lesson.  Here's a short video of one of our passes, sadly we did not get the bounce on film. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Razz relocated

Well Razz's photos, the crappy video I made, and all the networking paid off!  Amy over at
http://slowandsteadysmilerwinstherace.blogspot.com/ contacted me several times asking questions regarding his suitability for a young girl she was shopping for.  We even talked on the phone.

Razz's owner said that Razz had thrown her (which she failed to mention to us!) and she wanted to get a horse person's ideas of what happened.  We figured out that Razz probably spun in a circle trying to go back to his field and she fell off. 

Amy tried Razz out in conditions so miserable I stayed huddled at home in my apartment watching the wind blow snow horizontal.  She thought that Razz made a perfect match with the girl she was looking for, and I hear the girl even got to ride him.

So now Razz is snug in a barn with a brand new girl to teach to ride, and hopefully the horsey version of Jenny Craig.

What a small world we live in!  Nice to sort of "meet" a fellow blogger, and hopefully I get to see Razz again in the future kicking butt at some shows. 

October HT wrap up

My BIG MOVE UP at the October show was a big fat fail.  This is me, dismounting off of Stella in the middle of a massive XC melt down...