Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Day 6: In Hand Exercise; Small Circle Left

Well, there’s a tip I should have used today. The tip I received yesterday explained how to work your horse in hand while leg yielding your horse out. If I had planned better, instead of thinking “oh, I don’t need in hand work, we’re doing just fine under saddle”, I might have had a better ride.

Snow Ponies look innocent....
My ride wasn’t bad, per se. I just had a few communication issues with Delight today. At the advice of my sister, I’ve been working on turning her spooking energy up and forward instead of spinning like a top under me. It’s been going pretty well. So well, in fact, I started getting cocky about how well La Ponita was going. First level, here we come, I smugly thought to myself.
Then La Ponita laid a smack down on those 70% tests I had swirling around in my head.
We didn’t whoa storm, but she tried. When I was able to prevent the third whoastorm in the terrifying corner, she upped her game. And promptly told me “up yours”.

She tried to stop.
I pushed her forward.

She tried to zig.
I made her zag.

She tried to spook down and out.
I made her go up and forward.

And she took that last request and ran with it. Literally. We’ve all seen those rodeo broncs who do more running than bucking, but still manage to get quite a bit of air time. My pony was obviously auditioning for that role.


Shoulder fore on the short side, ask for leg yield on the long side BRONCING FIT.
So we got a few good canter transitions, and ended the ride both sweating and steaming in the 11 degree arena.
How I know that I'm becoming a better trainer? I was able to smile and pet La Ponita because other than the PCRA bronc impressions, we had a darn good ride. 

Tilly, on the other hand, was a champ. 
The Tillner willing to brave blowing snow for food.
Tilly and I are working on canter transitions. While they may not be our strong suit yet, we’re starting to come together. Now I have on the bit trot work, including through the turns, wonderful walk work and now we’re going to tackle the canter. Plenty of time….

Ponies lurk. It's what they do...

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