Tuesday, December 30, 2014

lesson on canter pace and rhythm

I felt oddly excited when we arrived to our OF lesson to see canter poles set up, and proudly told P all about how we'd been doing this exact thing at home - ground poles and foot work and all that jazz. And I fully expected to demonstrate Isabel's badassery at canter poles. 

Haha... oops. We kinda failed, naturally. It wasn't horrible, just couldn't quite get the rhythm nailed down. Ah well. She trotted very nicely through them tho!

we apparently can't do this two days in a row

It was actually kind of a weird day. Temps at a BALMY 60ish degrees had the horses huffing and puffing. And even tho the arena at OF is light years better than at Isabel's home barn, it was still a bit wet - making it a bit of a slog for the horses given the temperature. 

Anyways, the lesson was pretty good, all things considered. Isabel flatted really REALLY nicely - probably the steadiest she's been in the contact ever, including nice canters in both directions. This is kinda a big deal for us - even if it's really basic boring stuff. So I was pleased. 

turns out arabians DO get sweaty - just takes unseasonably warm weather

The jumping exercises were pretty basic too - but I feel ok about polishing the little details over the winter so that we are prepared for more challenges come spring time. 

We started with trot and canter poles, then worked over two lines that started small and grew during the course of the lesson. The outside line was measured as a short four. It was initially a triple combination of a one stride to a two stride. But the middle obstacle was removed and it really could have ridden in three. But P wanted me to fit in four strides given the low height and my tales of Isabel's recent rushing. 

Same went for the diagonal line - measured at 33'. Technically, we could make that in two, but again P wanted to see a balanced three strides. 

Isabel conspires with the ponies at OF

After riding both lines and WHOA-ing the whole way through (with 3.75 and 2.75 strides, respectively... oops!), it was pretty clear I needed to fix my canter a little earlier. Izzy figured out the outside line in 4, but then kinda clunked into the diagonal (despite finding a really nice distance!) and got a bit upset bc she doesn't like touching the fences.

The last time through was very tidy and even (yay for picking your feet UP mare!) and we quit on that.

So the lesson ended up being highly focused on our canter and pace - with my big takeaway being to SIT DOWN, for the love of all things holy. Lol. Maybe I'll learn one day...

16 comments:

  1. Great lesson! And OMG STEALING THAT PONY IN THE LAST PIC I NEED IT.

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    1. you would LOVE OF - the place is literally brimming with ponies of all shapes and sizes, and they are all stupid talented lol

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  2. Ponies... like a murder of crows it should be a conspiracy of ponies....

    But go you, pole queen!

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    1. yessss hahaha i would definitely adopt that naming convention :)

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  3. Cute pony! My canter rhythym leaves a lot to be desired....perhaps I need to be a pole queen as well. :P

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    1. i love ground poles bc you literally cannot do it for the horse. as a chronic micromanager, they are great for me bc i pretty much have to let go and allow the horse to make her own adjustments. good stuff!

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  4. I am inspired by your pole work! Gina and I DEFINITELY need to work on canter rhythm and consistency, and poles I can squeeze into the indoor arena.

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    1. oooh definitely do it! ground poles are so handy bc they don't take a lot of effort to move around, and can fit into almost any space :)

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  5. Love poles! And canter pace is the endless battle ...

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    1. sigh... it really never ends, does it? just when we think we've got it, isabel gets all cocky and starts rushing again..... ah well. practice practice!

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  6. Nothing is basic and boring about contact :)

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  7. I love doing ground poles - for some reason, it is one of the few times I relax and ride in the moment without over thinking everything to bits!

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    1. yea over thinking (and over riding) are big problems of mine... so ground poles are useful bc even when i screw up it's really nbd...

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  8. Solidifying the basics over winter is always a good thing. :D Sounds like a great lesson. I wish it were 60 degrees outside now lol.

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    1. i wish it were too ... sadly the brief warm weather is gone again - tho it stuck around just long enough for me to capitalize on my staycation!!

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