Saturday, August 10, 2013

Egg timer

This was the face I had last night for a moment.  We were on right lead canter and at the exact moment Annie decided that cantering on da bit was too much to bear, pulled an arabian and stuck her head straight up in the air to regain control of pace and speed, and careened around the corner we were faced with the other rider in the ring doing a shoulder in around the corner.  I think we may have cantered up the wall a bit and I may have used a bit of a pulley rein, but we did not crash.

Annie's at this in between stage.

We go along doing some really nice dressage.  She's on the bit, she listens to my half halts, she bends, she flexes, she moves off my leg and I feel like we stand a chance at having a reasonable Training level test and maybe see First level in the Spring.

Then I think she has an egg timer under her saddlepad where she reaches her limit of being a good dressage horse and the egg timer goes off and she switches from happy dressage Annie to Grumpy Annie.

Then she sticks her nose out and pins her ears when I half halt, wobbles across the diagonal, or my personal favorite, the canter sproing.

There we are cantering on da bit at a reasonable rate of speed and DING!  It all becomes too much, she grabs the bit, sticks her nose out, and tanks off.  Steering goes out the window, speed increases, and we bank the corners.  Extra fun when someone else is in the ring.

This is not the same as what I call the "post canter face"  which is basically Annie saying that we just spent a lot of time cantering, and she'd really like to canter again and not do this stupid trotting crap.  However, it must be a canter on her terms so nose in the air at hand gallop speeds.  Until we do so I get the post canter face where I stare at the inside of her ears for the rest of the ride.

Oh well. 


  1. To me it sounds like you and Annie could benefit a great deal with some biomechanics dressage. And getting "bear down" installed on her. Made a night and day difference in Steady. If you have any people that are interested in your area I am sure the instructor I use would come out to do some lessons if there were several people. I am telling you that you can go from a hot hot, head in the air running beast to actually being able to get consistent connection and your horse listening to your aids. Night and day.

    1. I do ride occasionally with Nancy Kleiner who is all about biomechanics but I always love hearing about new dressage instructors, especially ones that travel!

    2. I Don't Know Nancy But Does She Explain "Beardown"? That One Thing Has Been The Key To Unlocking steady's Potential.

  2. You're not alone with the arabian eggtimer! Koda and I will be riding around beautifully, engaged, putting in some great work, but something just clicks and it is too much and we must turn into the "Black Stallion!".
    Oh silly ponies..
    What I've started to do is given Koda very short quick walk breaks, which are turning into stretch down and relax breaks (free walk!).

    1. Annie loves her freewalk which is actually very nice. She's got such a strong opinion of things and if I push she pushes back harder to see if she gets away with it. If I ignore it and counteract then she gives it up. She's also finding the increasing dressage to be difficult so sometimes she reaches her limit.


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