Friday, September 20, 2013

Sassy Pants


Both girls have been feeling QUITE sassy the last couple rides. Geez. Didn't notice if they were in heat or not (usually it's easily noticeable) but perhaps the cooler weather's contributing to some strong opinions lately.

Happy ponies outside shortly before it started pouring

Jetta was a fireball under saddle. She had way, way too much energy and kept getting more and more amped, so we went and played on the trail course for a little bit to decompress and then went back to the arena and finally got a little bit more focused work. The BO said she didn't get turned out the day before, so that was probably partly the reason.

Misty too had her sassy pants on today. Yesterday's ride wasn't so smooth. We had several discussions about listening to my aids for stopping and turning and going. So basically for everything. I wasn't even sure at the end of our ride whether we were actually quitting on a positive note or not, or even if anything had actually been achieved in our ride. It was a disappointing ride to say the least, probably the first one with her actually that was really rough and kind of depressing.

Luckily, she seemed way more on top of it today. She was responsive and attentive. 90% of our stops were correct, she did rollbacks and picked up the correct leads, she backed softly with minimal use of the reins. She went when I told her. It was good. Then... we were cantering along on the right lead and she was doing really well. She had a fairly nice, slow canter and I was letting her go along on a loose rein. I asked for a slightly smaller circle with my outside leg and instead got an explosion. Holy cow!

I've gotten a few leaps out of her when doing flying changes, but nothing like that. I was completely unprepared for it and vaguely thought, as we were hopping and skipping across the arena, that I was going to come off. Luckily I was able to get her stopped and then we tried again, this time with a much shorter rein. Unfortunately I gouged the skin of my knuckles (how, I have no idea) so after a much better canter I got off and got my gloves. The rest of the ride was uneventful and she was fine. 

I think she was just anticipating the flying changes since the last few times I'd had to get after her for not changing clean. But, this ride we took lots of breaks, she got lots of praise and rewards for all her good behavior. We did do a flying change in each direction and I made sure to ask quietly and gush over her afterwards. Despite the buck, it was a really good ride. With all of the praise and breaks we took she started to relax and stopped anticipating.

Afterwards to give her brain even more of a break we went and played on the trail course for the first time. She thought the tarp full of bottles was really scary, which I thought was funny since Jetta didn't give it too much thought. But she was really good with dragging the bucket (something I definitely didn't try on Jetta) and roping the barrel, backing through the cones and the "L" (!) and walking over the bridge. Fun, fun. She got lots and lots of treats afterwards and a good grooming then got turned back outside.

Tackling the scary bottles

Overall, I think we're prepared for tomorrow: our first sorting event!

Also: There is a contest over at Life of Riley! Pretty awesome prizes too :)


  1. Random but one thing I always think about with western saddles is the pads. Do you have to Hose them off?! How else would you clean them... I rode western some when I was younger but not enough that I ever had to clean a pad haha...

    1. Haha, this question made me giggle. Cracks me up that that's what you thought of :) I'm not sure if most people wash their pads... It's just not usually an issue people pay attention to. Every so often I'll hose them off and scrub them to get some of the hair and dirt off, but they're just kind of there... They're really thick so getting them sopping wet makes it take forever to dry them out and they don't really fit in a washer/dryer. The top part doesn't usually get that dirty, or at least visibly so that's not a problem but you could always put a saddle blanket on top of the pad to hide it.

    2. I just brush mine off after every ride and let it air out if I'm using my fleece one and just wipe down and air out my neoprene as needed :)