Thursday, February 2, 2012


Ugh. Please tell me it's Friday already... No? Why is it still so far away?!

If you can't tell, I'm so ready for it to be Friday. I can't wait. This week has been incredibly long and extremely stressful.

I rode Jetta on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday I was too lazy to put any actual tack on so I rode barback and in the bitless bridle. Jetta was good and we actually cantered for the first time bareback! (At least, I think it was our first time...) While I'm usually not chicken about anything involving horses, I'll admit I was a bit tentative about cantering Jetta with no saddle and no stirrups. Because 1) she has a shark fin for a whither - ouch! 2) this girl is tall compared to every other horse I've ridden bareback and the ground is quite a long way down and 3) I think it is Jetta's goal to someday make me fall off hence the atrocious canter-trot transitions that are hard to sit and the bucking. So I had some good reasons not to want to canter bareback. But it went great!
No stirrups for me!
Wednesday was... not as great. I decided to ride sans stirrups in my dressage saddle. Which I haven't done in a very, very long time. Too long apparently. I was very glad no one was there to watch me. It was hideous and Jetta was none too pleased to have me bouncing around up there. She let this be known with a couple bucks. Great - just what I needed. I'm in a saddle (slippery) with no stirrups (no support base) alone in an arena (help?). But we did end up having some of the best leg-yield and shoulder-in at the trot to date. It was fantastic... once you got past Jetta's pinned ears because I was bouncing and clamping down all over the place. Bad, bad rider. Today I can definitely feel the pain. I know I clench my hips too much and I can really tell because my hips are in pain now. I'm too young for this! And walking up the four flights of stairs to class (almost 100 steps - I counted) was painful.

Not pleased with me...

So that is something I definitely need to work on in the future, just not any more this week ;)


  1. Last time I measured she was 16.2 though closer, but not quite, to 16.3hh. Not very tall in the grand scheme of things but I'm very used to my 15.3hh QH's! I should measure her again and see if she's grown...

  2. I know what you mean about riding a tall, shark-finned horse bareback! I always go for my husband's short, fat, round beastie. As for clamping down when riding w/out stirrups... I used to do an exercise while on a longe line where I'd grab the front of the saddle and hold myself in, then really focus on making everything below my waist noodle-like. I'd pay special attention to following the motion with my hips and thighs instead of gripping. These days I use it as a quick check (you can ride one-handed for a few strides) to see how I'm doing, or to get my body to relax. I'm not sure if it would help you, but thought I'd pass it on!

  3. 16.2 (or 3) is a long ways to fall! My guy is 16.2 and when I come off it's never fun! But more power to you for riding w/o your stirrups!

  4. Girl I feel your pain, I pulled a muscle in my fight fighting with a draft horse last weekend. Ugh!

    Congrats on the bareback canter, my boy likes to buck if I try that with him too.

  5. Jenj - that's actually exactly what I do! Luckily the arena is small enough and Jetta neck reins a bit so I don't have to be lunged and we can just truck around one-handed at the trot. But I just need to do it more often so it becomes a habit to relax :)