Tuesday, January 27, 2015

ghost town lesson

Lesson day was an odd Saturday bc we were told to expect loads of snow days in advance and right up through Friday night. In fact tho, it only rained (with a little wintery mix) but stayed warm enough that only harmless slush accumulated rather than slippery ice. All the same tho - Isabel's farm and OF were both total ghost towns. 


So there were only FOUR of us in the lesson, and nobody schooling!! I think that's the fewest horses I've ever seen in this arena (which, keep in mind, is about 20x40m). It felt downright spacious!! Wonder of wonders, we could all canter at the SAME TIME!! lol


P capitalized on the lighter arena traffic by having me work on lateral stuff. I don't do much on my own (even tho I should...) bc I'm such an uncoordinated mess and Izzy just gets pissed off. But P had me break it into smaller pieces: turn up the quarter line and leg yield (or some semblance thereof) back to the wall. And maybe back and forth a few times. Just to get the horse on my outside aids. You will be SHOCKED to hear that it actually helped! 

this jump configuration is actually very versatile!
(30' between the center vertical and the diagonals)

The extra breathing room also meant we had a little more space for jumping, since we didn't have to share the rail with schoolers. The indoor is neat in that it has standards built into the wall around the long sides, so you can really maximize every inch. 


This can, however, be problematic when you're riding a horse that drifts left (and obvi doing nothing to address said drift).... I had one pretttty dicey jump where I almost lost my kneecap, but fortunately it was jusssst close enough to get me focused on our straightness. 



when i talk about our shitty right lead canter, this is what i mean

Isabel was very good - especially when compared to our previous two lessons. I'm fairly certain that the difference is because we actually worked a couple times this week. 


We usually had one crap fence per course - esp after the jumps went up. Oddly tho (and I swear this wasn't on purpose or selective editing!), the most disastrous fences somehow didn't make it onto video - even the course we got 3 fences into before P told us to stop and start over (you know how it goes)... oh well, I probably didn't want to see those again anyway haha.  




The problems were all my own tho, as they so often are. Instead of balancing after each fence and through the corners, I was just gunning it out of each corner then pulling before the fence. Not a recipe for success, emma!! I needed a forward ride - yes - but NOT by throwing my upper body at the horse. I needed to sit up and back and bring Isabel's hind legs underneath her to generate forward that way.


We made it through well enough tho, and at the very end P bumped up the center vertical to a 2'6" oxer, which Izzy and I kinda ate the first time (not terrible, really, just not very smooth - and again not caught on video lol), but handled very nicely the second time to end on. 

gif version for those who don't watch the videos

The approach for the oxer was essentially the same as a turn up the centerline for a dressage test (since it's a 20m wide arena) - and P really wanted me focusing on my outside aids (and Izzy's outside hind) around the turn and to the fence. Worked out well!

plz enjoy this video of us mostly doing ok (except for some 'splat' moments here and there)

So I'm pretty happy about the lesson - and also very happy to see the difference in Isabel after getting back into semi-regular work via hauling out to other indoors. Definitely makes me think it's worth the extra time and energy! 

random aside: is this stuff on the shoe borium? never noticed before but was curious!

24 comments:

  1. Yay for good lessons, it's funny how they repay us for doing more work with them...fingers crossed i retain that info as i try to ride my two more.
    Afraid I've no idea about shoe...sorry!

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    1. yay indeed!! yea the regular work thing is definitely important for isabel, as she really thrives on routine...

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  2. So glad the lateral work helped! You definitely have to start small with that stuff, or it will overwhelm you both. :) It's brilliant for feeling the horse bouncing off your aids, though.

    Love watching Isabel jump. She has that sassy Arab flounce to her. So fun!

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    1. thanks - and that's a good way to think about it: 'bouncing off the aids"... i definitely need to keep it simple tho, as i get too easily flustered and start making unreasonable demands on the horse lol. and yes - isabel is ALL THINGS sassy haha

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  3. Looking good girlfriend! Your jumping improved a TON when you used your corners to balance and just kept the same rhythm around the course.

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    1. ALSO... some of us bloggers are getting together for dinner on Saturday night in King of Prussia, PA... I know you had mentioned you might want to drive up for said event, so shoot me an email if you're still interested! ponylovealk -at- gmail . com :)

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    2. thanks! isabel is so sensitive that she really only needs very small adjustments from me -- which is tuff bc i naturally want to be a very loud rider.... it's all a balancing act haha. and thanks for the info about the meet up!! i will definitely email you :)

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  4. I was gonna ask after looking at that second picture if there were standards in the walls...that is so cool and such a good idea!!! Totally doing that when I have my own dream arena...

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    1. the standards are AWESOME!!! tho definitely no bueno if you hit them bc they do NOT budge lol

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  5. Mollie gets borium shoes in the winter. Pretty common up here in New England.

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    1. interesting!! i don't think they're exactly rare down here - but i've never actually seen one up close and never knew what it looked like

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  6. Glad you had a good lesson - it sounds like it was nice to have the arena all to yourselves (kind of)!!

    And yep, that's borium on the shoes - pretty common in the Winter time.

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    1. it was sooooo nice to have the indoor that empty. 20x40m is small - yes - but still plenty of space to accomplish some real work. except when there are zillions of other horses in there it gets so overwhelming !

      the borium is cool too - i knew that people did that, but have always been curious to see it. and there it was attached to our hose as a weight haha

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  7. Very nice! You know, the lateral work will help with that right lead canter, too. It looks to me like Izzy is bracing left with her neck and shoulders when tracking right, which suggests to me that her left side is stiff and doesn't want to open up. (I could be TOTALLY off base on this.) So doing leg yields right to left (tracking right) and some shoulder-in on the same track may help her stretch out that left side and bend properly at the canter.

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    1. yea she's definitely not balanced from one side to the other... the best i've been able to figure out with a biomechanics trainer is that the problem is actually rooted in her right hind - she doesn't use that leg to it's full potential, and it creates all kinds of weirdness in how she goes. but i think your assessment is still on point - lateral work WILL help her step that hind leg underneath herself and start pushing with it. (if i can just make myself work more on it haha)

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  8. That's great you had a good lesson! I'm not sure about the shoes....sounds like the other commenters know. :) All my horses are barefoot because their mom is poor haha

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    1. thanks!! and barefoot is awesome if you can make it work!! i actually wonder sometimes if isabel could go barefoot... but those decisions aren't really up to me lol

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  9. Fun!!

    That looks like borium to me- Moe got them when we evented frequently. Super grippy!

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    1. thanks!! and interesting - i'd always heard of borium just for winter conditions, not specifically for eventing!

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  10. Fun!!

    That looks like borium to me- Moe got them when we evented frequently. Super grippy!

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  11. Looking good!! So nice when there is less indoor traffic.

    And yes, I'll join in the other commenters in saying that's borium :-)

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    1. thanks! i don't mind a little traffic, as i love the communal feel of busy barns -- but there's a limit!! haha

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  12. I so love that first trot picture! I'm glad the lesson went well and that hauling out is making a difference, :)

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    1. thanks! hauling out is a lot more work (and stress on the ponykins), but i'm still thinking the regular work and routine is more beneficial than otherwise

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