Weekly Roundup 9/15-9/21

Sunday 9/15: Sue rides

Tuesday 9/17: Work– got to ride Captain and Angie again, yay! I’m not super convinced the saddle I’m using on them fits me– it feels really hard to get my leg under me– so if I a) get to ride them again and b) am brave enough, will try to ask if there’s another one I can try. Love riding A-pony…she’s like riding a mini-TB, but also super duper A-Circuit broke, so while she does like to be ridden a certain way, when you ride her that way she’s like “oh OK!” Plus my favorite ride is the support-and-stay-out-of-the-way ride anyways, so win-win. More no stirrups, and it was easier for me to keep my position than with, but obviously more tiring so I picked them back up when it started to negatively affect my riding. Trainers were riding outside so we stayed inside (the outdoor is huge and there totally would’ve been room for all of us but I’m mildly pathological about being in the way so) but at least that way I could catch a glimpse of us when we passed by the tack room mirrors.

Rode Pearl afterwards. Just a quick one, because it was a long day. Picked up both hackamore and bit reins right away as we were walking around. Mare had her let’s-go pants on, as usual… Sue had said something offhand about how she “kept wanting to go” during her last lesson. Not sure if she meant her normal forwardness, or if it was an anticipation thing– she definitely does the “OK you shortened your reins, that means you are going to ask me to trot soon so I may as well start trotting now” thing so I need to make sure I do lots of lengthening and shortening of reins at the walk. Definitely not complaining though… before Pearl (well before CJ really) I was in a bit of a Nervous Nellie phase and never would’ve pegged myself as wanting more of a “whoa ride,” but now I’m hooked spoiled. Only downside is I get caught by surprise when I have to actual push one to go!

We didn’t do a whole lot of trotting, but what we got was quite nice. A friend suggested that some of my leg position funkiness means I may be ready to drop my stirrups down a hole. Trotted the first lap sans stirrups to lengthen my leg/trick myself into not thinking “oh no my stirrups are too long” and then picked them up and they felt fine…noticeably longer, but not like I was reaching for them. A graduation of sorts, because I have always been the type to like jockey-style stirrups, even taking my height (= lack thereof) into consideration. I also dropped the hackamore rein pretty early into the ride, with no complaints from the princess. Noticed that she is getting some rubs on her face from wearing her halter all day. Fly season is more or less over so I’ll not bother with the fly mask in case that is compounding the problem, and also ordered some fleecy thingies to put on her halter.

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Halter-shaped halter rubs

After our ride, I got an Intro to Derby… whom Sarah is kindly allowing me to ride while she’s out of town for a bit next week. Yay riding all the ponies! Derby seems like a) a very good dude and b) a different type of ride than Pearl, so it’ll be really nice to expand my repertoire. Thanks, Derby and Sarah!

Wednesday 9/18: Sue rides

Thursday 9/19: Sink or swim, baby. Took the hackamore off altogether and rode solely off the bit for the whole ride. Superstar.

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Look ma, no hackamore!

Also made a video using the trusty Gorillapod-on-a-jump-standard method. Which had the surprising benefit of being a “fake trainer” not in the Big Brother sense, but in the sense that I had something to act as a physical marker for how to shape my circle, where to point my shoulders, etc. I tried to really focus on using my outside rein for turns and release with my inside rein when she softens. Not perfect or even consistent really, but getting there. I also noticed we’ve done a little bit of a switcheroo in that I’m now having an easier time to the left than right, whereas left was previously our “bad way.” My best hypothesis would be that I’m trying to be mindful of and strengthen my weaker left side, thus helping us when I need to use my left leg as inside leg, whereas my right leg has always been stronger so while I wouldn’t call her dead to my leg, it doesn’t carry as much oomph when I try to use my right leg as more of a lateral aid since she’s already used to a stronger right leg baseline. Looking at the video confirms this. Need to do more spiraly things, and also doing our “baby hunter leg yield” on the long sides…one of my favorite exercises for this is to set trot poles on the quarterline about the middle of the long side, turn as if we were going to go down the rail, LY in to poles, then back out to rail after poles.

Friday 9/20: Sue rides

Saturday 9/21: Farrier day. I’d originally planned to ride afterwards but had some sort of flu-but-not thing going on…went home early with a headache on Friday, which turned into a bodyache. Normally I do my cold symptoms in order so was expecting to have the sniffles on Saturday but instead woke up with even more all-over achies. Bleh. Luckily, farrier is awesome and calls me when he’s about 1.5-2 hours out, so I just threw some clothes on and headed out to the barn. One of the clips came off her special shoe, so she got a new pair. She’s staying sound so we’ll keep with light work + fancy shoes until our recheck in December. Handgrazed her as a reward for approximately 90 seconds because omg standing relatively still in the crossties for long periods of time is just SO HARD can you IMAGINE oh the HUMANITY then dragged my sorry arse back to bed.

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