Monday, April 27, 2015

wherein Peanut highlights my flaws

As previously mentioned, we had a good lesson at OF on Saturday, per usual. B brought Wick along (his first solo trailer ride and he was a champ for it - maybe not eating as much hay but still perfectly calm and at ease), but I opted to leave Isabel at home. She'll be plenty ready for next time (esp since the next two weeks are cancelled, womp womp) - but for now I'm sticking with the ever-adorable Peanut. 

(Also - no real media evidence from the lesson since the usual barn rats weren't around... so you just get a random assortment from my cellphone. Enjoy!)


I may or may not have had ulterior motives for wanting to ride Peanut too. I have a surprise planned for this little mare - nothing crazy (no I'm not buying her), but fun and exciting none the less. More to come later ... :) 

So I really wanted to focus on our flat work during this lesson - esp since my first ride on Peanut left a lot to be desired in that department, and our last ride was out in the xc field - making it a little less conducive for dressage. But Peanut *knows* dressage - she's been living at a dressage barn for the last few years and is absolutely capable of nice movement. 

izzy is still my numero uno
The canter is a particular problem area for me... and I'm frustrated to report that we really didn't make any progress. It's like I'm straight up incapable of adjusting Peanut's canter AT ALL. It's a great canter for xc - but nothing even close to what I'd like for the dressage ring. Well, slight exaggeration - we got a decent-ish canter when I put her on a small circle and kept her there... but barring that, nothing I did made a difference. 

I think part of the problem is my inability to actually sit the canter with a true following seat. Either I get into half seat, which is easier for me to stay soft in, or I dig my butt into the saddle in what my trainer refers to as a 'driving' seat. Neither achieves the results I want from Ms Peanut (tho the latter will occasionally elicit a squeal lol). Sigh. 

this cat kept mugging me while i groomed isabel. turns out she just wanted her turn with the shedding comb lol
The timing of this lesson (and the somewhat depressing revelation that I STILL suck at the canter) was excellent tho - as it provided perfect fodder for the next day's bio-mechanics lesson, which will get its own post tomorrow. 

Meanwhile - we moved on to jumping with somewhat limited time, given the 8 riders in our group this week. We kept it simple with diagonal lines transcribing sweeping figure-8s around the arena, plus a big wooden coop at one end. 

My objective for the jumping portion was literally to sit there and do nothing - Peanut can actually get it done quite nicely on her own. Aside from one bobble down the first line where Peanut got to the B element a little too quickly and failed to make any adjustments, everything was peachy keen and rode perfectly. Jumping this horse is just so easy - I love it! 

Then it was back to Isabel's barn to get the princess some exercise. I opted to long line, with the idea that it would help her be nice and limber and loose for the following day's bio-mechanics lesson. We only worked for about 35min, and aside from the first lap or two, we tracked right the whole time. 

Ms Thing was very good - she started off kinda speed walking and wiggling from side to side, balancing on one line then the other in rapid succession. But she gradually slowed down and started going straighter and balancing her own self on the circle. 

I really like how this exercise makes Isabel use her body more correctly by pretty much her own volition - independent of whatever a rider might be doing up there. And I've definitely noticed a difference under saddle. So it's going to stay in my bag of tricks for a while, I think. 

Also - I picked up another bridle charm from the Ambitious Equestrian, this time in super sparkly blue ombre. Obviously my new-to-me dressage bridle needed bling too - plus I wanted something to match my xc colors of navy + royal blue. Yay for interchangeable charms!!

12 comments:

  1. Oh wow, that charm is so cute! I've never seen them in New Zealand - maybe I could be a trend setter!

    Looking forward to reading about your biomechanics lesson, I'm so interested in that.

    So cute that Peanut squeals!! I have a squeaker and it makes me laugh every time.

    And again, your cute barn cats kill me with cuteness!

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    1. lol i kinda wish peanut didnt' squeal - it's like the ultimate tattle tale haha. seriously tho - you should definitely start putting charms on your bridles, bling makes everything better :)

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  2. I had those exact charms on my boot pulls. And then they fell off and I lost them and it was sad.

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    1. i bet! i just love how shiny they are lol

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  3. I just loooove hearing about what you learn with Peanut! She is so cool. And that charm is really pretty! I am just weirded out at the idea of something flopping around by my pony's eyeball!?

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    1. peanut is pretty much the neatest lol. and i hear ya about worrying about your pony's eyeball, but honestly the charms are so small and lightweight - so far in my experience they don't get anywhere close to isabel's eye

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  4. I think that you and Peanut belong together....just saying ;)

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    1. lol i am definitely quite fond of her - but she's providing me with the perfect opportunity of figuring out what exactly is working w Ms Izzy too... which i'll probably be writing about sometime soon :)

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  5. The best thing about riding other horses is realizing all those things your horses just put up with so you can fix them. I also love that I realize how awesome my own horses are by riding others!

    I'm with Alli on the bridle charms, I think they are cute but I know I wouldn't want something bouncing off the side of my head, lol.

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    1. my thoughts exactly!! i'm always saying how sensitive and reactive isabel can be... but yet she kinda puts up with a lot from me lol

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  6. I've only recently figured out (white my instructors help) how to sit to the canter differently. It took me a while to figure out what in the hell she was describing, but then it just clicked at one point. Even though it's clicked and o know what I'm supposed to be doing it still doesn't come naturally thoigh and I have to really focus to do it. The best way I can describe it is to think about moving your inside seat bone towards the horses outside ear, and I always need to relax my back to do this. Not sure if it's the same kind of following seat that your instructor is asking for, but it's working well for me!

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    1. interesting!! that is very much along the lines of what my trainer tells me to do too.. but i find that i'm so braced and locked in my hips that isolating individual seat bones to do *anything* with them is really difficult - like i have zero feel for it. we'll see tho - i'm playing around with it and hopefully something will click!

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