Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Procrastination at its Finest

My approach to studying for finals:

But today I decided no ponies for me, I need to study for my two tests tomorrow and then I'm free for spring break!! Instead of studying though, here I am writing a blog post... But oh well.

Yesterday I took a break and went out to the barn. It was too gorgeous not to get outside (it's back to raining now) so I had to go ride. 

Jetta had just gotten turned out in the muddy paddock when I got there and she had of course rolled right away. Since it was sunny and upper 50's she was naked so I opted in the interest of time and my own laziness to let her enjoy her turnout time. I didn't want to have to deal with a horse encrusted with wet mud!

Queenie, luckily, had been turned out in one of the two smaller, drier paddock so she was fine to play with. And I had a really good ride on her actually. 

She tries so hard to please and she learns really quickly. She easily bends in each direction now. She stands still when I get on, though she still feels a little tense. She's starting to figure out how to move off my leg and not run through it. She has a lovely little jog for such a big girl, though she goes through phases of being worried and speeding up, then slowing back down, then speeding up, etc. so we need to work on maintaining one speed. 

Her stop is still all wonky. I don't know what this guy was thinking while training her - it's just plain weird. Half the time she slams on the brakes like she's a reining horse (which just makes me giggle) and the other half she blows off my aid and then gets upset when I insist that she stop. Regardless of how she stops, she then proceeds to wiggle around and not stand still which drives me nuts. I don't think this guy was mean to her in training her (I hope) just that she's uneducated and is still afraid of the bit, she doesn't really know what it means so she swaps between leaning on it, ignoring it, or overreacting to it. 

Bahaha, I googled draft reining and came up with these two pics:

I thought that was hilarious - maybe Queenie could be a reiner? That is, if I could ever get her to canter...

But yesterday I found that she's super good about voice aids. As in, within one ride I was able to get her to stop with a simple "woah", from the walk or trot. Awesome! Not completely sure if I want to train her to have a voice cue for a halt, but I figure it's good for a trail horse - I don't think she's going to ever make a show horse of any kind. She's also getting better about backing. She'll still occasionally fight me on it, but it's getting to the point where I just have to barely pick up the reins and without putting pressure on her mouth, bump my legs a bit and she backs right up. Still working on the straightness part though. 

Cantering is still non existent. She gets too worked up and her avoidance techniques are to either buck or whip her butt around and stop. I think I'll recruit someone at the barn to lunge me on her because she understands the canter on the lungeline, just not in the saddle.

So I was super happy! I was actually not looking forward to riding her - I wanted to ride Jetta instead, but it ended up being really good. Always nice to have good mood boost! I'm so relieved that she tries so hard and learns quickly.

Jetta has been good lately too - we had one jump school and one bareback ride and she was good for both. I actually measured our jumps when we set them and stuck to mostly 2'9" but then jumped the 3'3" set up a couple times! It's big for me - that's the highest I've ever jumped. It's the height we jumped last time, that I postulated was between 2'9" and 3' because I didn't have my tape measure, but lo and behold it's even bigger! Makes me feel good about that. As for the bareback ride, I'm still sore... Miss Sharkfin withers needs more padding than just my dressage pad, apparently I'd forgotten that.


  1. Its so nice working with a horse that is willing and tries to please.
    Sounds like you are doing really well with her.

  2. Skimmed some of your recent posts (sorry) but I read a thread on COTH not too too long ago with someone that was having issues getting an OTTB to canter... Does she canter on a lunge line?

    Funny drafy reining!

  3. Hillary - yeah, she canters on the lunge line, she just doesn't understand exactly what I want yet and she gets scared too. It will come eventually! She was actually a lot better for today's ride :)