Weekly roundup 8/25-8/31

Sunday 8/25: It’s Summer Weather: The Sequel. No thanks. I can’t believe it’s been a whole week since I last rode the mare…so nice to have a shareboarder so I don’t have to worry about her going nuts with no work/losing as limb and no one noticing while I’m away. She was lovely as is her MO. It does feel like she’s taking less time to come around/fighting disagreeing less about the new increased amount of contact. I love how I can ride 5 other horses in a week and spend all morning grooming gorgeous fancy horses and still feel like I’m coming home when I ride my own. She was plenty perky despite the weather but it was more of a channeled energy than rushy-rushy, which is an improvement. In keeping with my need-to-get-stronger work I’ve decided any canter work we do in the dressage saddle (i.e. not when I’m working on strengthening other muscles by halfseating the canter during pole work) is going to be no stirrups. There, I wrote it down so I have to stick to it. Except for when I have someone take pictures because then it’d just look like I awkwardly lost my stirrups. Anyways, we cantered a little bit each way and I’ve already noticed her canter transitions feel springier…yay muscles. Cut our ride short because I was getting a bit dizzy…apparently the best way to kick a (super minor but still) cold is not to get up at 5:45 for work multiple days in a row and not eat/drink enough. Whoops. Showered her off and grazed a little bit in the dip by the fenceline where the grass is better.

Tuesday 8/27: Sue rode in evening

Wednesday 8/28: Sue lesson. Apparently had an issue with new bridle setup so Christy helped fix it…thanks!

Thursday 8/29: Rode outside and despite the newly hot weather, had a definite case of the zoomies. After realizing we weren’t going to get a nice soft quiet trot, let her canter it out for a good long while. Sometimes that’s just what you gotta do.

I swear this horse would canter forever if I’d let her

A moment of quiet

Would love to take her for a good long gallop, but a) pretty sure there’s not anywhere we can do that and b) pretty sure that assuredly does not qualify as “light work.” Sorry, babes. The only trouble with the “canter it out” method is it tends to get her a bit wound the day of before taking effect the next day. Ah well, at least she will be good for Sue and hopefully me & MSC crew on Saturday. We did our canter poles homework and they were Very Exciting– clearly both of us would like to pop some fences, and I can’t wait to see how our improved flatwork will affect our jumping.

Woooohooooooo

A nice stretch before building up more steam

Talked to Dr. Merritt and he said 4-6 months for an impar ligament injury…so with original dx in June, thinking recheck in December (becau$e I can’t go in at 4 months and then be told to check again in 2 months) and then hopefully we’ll be all clear, plus hopefully we’ll have started some canter work in our Christy lessons by then too.

Speaking of canter getting us wound up…after a couple times over the poles P decided she’d actually really rather not stop please and thank you, so we had to have a discussion about how the human is the one who gets to dictate gait and preferably pace as well. So we stuck on a circle and did about a bazillion transitions.

Halt is somebody’s least favorite gait

We tend to run into issues there a lot, because when my intention is to work on our downward transitions, Pearl goes “oh, so you’re schooling me on my upward transitions, yeah? So you tell me when to trot, and then obviously you’re gonna ask me to canter next, so how’s about I eliminate the middle man and I’ll just start cantering on my own k sounds good.” Which…not so much. My arms/shoulders/core are quite exhausted after 6 days in a row of doing stalls, so that was fun. When she’s good in the jumping hack she’s very very good, but when she realizes it’s really not much more whoa than a halter and she’d rather not listen to my seat then we run into some issues. We’re desperately due for another lesson, so if I can swing it I’ll try to schedule it more towards the end of the week and keep our work light up til then, so I can get some help on how to work with the increased energy. We eventually got a nicer trot, so called it a day on that.

Friday 8/30: Sue was going to ride, but got rained out. I feel bad but these things happen I guess…

Saturday 8/31: Musical riders time! Pearl was in heaven because she got to be ridden by not one, not two, but THREE people. I put her through her paces, then first Carson and then Grace hopped on.

Who cares if I don’t have a head so long as my pony looks cute 

Yup, straight as a board

Canter poles a la Pearl…

Tiiiired rider

Grace’s superpony Domino is somewhere in the neighborhood of 14 hands and Carson has been mainly riding the smaller ones this summer too, so both of their first comments were “oh, she’s big!” C has ridden Pearl once in 2011 and G never has. It was an excellent experience for me watching them ride her because I’m fairly familiar with both their riding styles and have ridden both their horses before, so it was interesting seeing how Pearl went for them and discussing what that meant about how we all rode. C was in regular dressage lessons for the larger part of her riding career and only was introduced to Motleydom over the last year or so, while G learned to ride overseas, had a bit of a confidence crisis once back in the US, was mainly self-taught and just started taking lessons with an eventing trainer last year.

C went first. Comment of the day: “How can she manage to go in such a small circle without bending at all?” Good question, we are working on that… She also remarked on Pearl’s big trot. It seems normal to me now, but I remember how when I was riding Tommy/Rio/Leo last year, if I rode them and then Pearl I always felt like I was being thrown around the first few strides.

Victim #1

G rode next, and it was lovely to have her finally ride Miss Pearl…it’s been sort of a running joke how we went to the barn together all the time and she’s never ridden my horse but I’ve ridden hers. Mostly a product of the tendency for Pearl to have only just gotten “warmed up” (= safe) by the time Domino was like uh can we be done now. G’s main comment was how her canter felt so big and slow compared to D’s more pony-ish movement.

Victim #2

Pearl did great for both of them, and I love getting to share my girl with my best buds. Got the chance to take some confo/condition type pics…of course the one where she’s standing the best is when she’s all sweaty pre-bath, but I think she’s gaining some muscle, albeit slowly, and definitely some weight.

More pictures from our day here, if you’re so inclined!

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