Friday, June 19, 2015

finally clicking again

Phew. 

(that's the sound of a huge sigh of relief, if you were wondering)

Isabel and I had a downright pleasant schooling ride. Finally. The kind that prompts onlookers to say 'Ooh that looks FUN!' 

Yessssss. Ms. Princess is getting her groove back! This was her 4th consecutive day of work: dressage lesson, then light but meh schooling, then Dan lesson, then this ride. Each ride got progressively better and now things are clicking again. For this ride, she was just right there. Ya know? That place where you can just go straight to work and enjoy it? 


does she look happy? i think so! 
Of course my media is limited to video from setting my phone on a jump standard... and I only jumped a couple times - mostly to get a feel for a change in saddle fittings (to be discussed tomorrow), so you better believe I'm milking the ever loving hell out of the two jumps I got on film. Lol... pictures are pictures, right?


and gifs are gifs :D
Despite the media being limited to our jumping efforts, the ride was predominantly a dressage school - obvi given that's been our biggest problem area lately. 

And I just stuck to the same guns:

  • get Isabel moving forward
  • keep her shoulders square in front of me (and her spinous processes upright!)
  • stabilize my hands: outside elbow at my side, inside hand up and open
  • no riding backward!!! I repeat: hands do NOT move back! 
  • wrap legs down around, no curling. feel my big toe in the stirrup  
  • squeeeeeeeze and hold with legs!

sorry these stills are all so blurry
It was immediately apparent that I had my horse back tho. Isabel was rarin' to go - clearly remembering our recent lessons and ready to build on them. Sure there was some curling under - but now it was more like our normal pattern of trying to find the right steadiness and balance, rather than a straight up evasion. 


but i kinda love them anyway
We went through all the same exercises from recent lessons too:

  • transitions within the gait (specifically in trot)
  • collected walk to collected sitting trot to walk to trot again and again - just using seat
  • repeated trot canter transitions
  • walk to canter; halt to canter (Isabel DEFINITELY remembered this exercise haha)
  • just a couple jumps - but Isabel must be solidly in front of my leg with lifted shoulders

And it was all just so perfect. This is my horse guys. She's perfect. 

she was just feeling so good!
I'm not sure what all the fussiness has been about lately ... but I'm gonna blame it on a perfect storm of small irritants adding up to one big ol' case of the blahs. She was in season and not feeling great - that's fine and all and will happen. But I handled it exactly wrong. 

I backed off too much, forgetting the very first lesson I ever learned from Isabel, that she thrives on routine and consistency. 

I stopped asking for much at all - and when she gave even less than that, I just stopped riding altogether outside of lessons or trail rides (maybe I thought I'd screw her up even worse? that I was somehow incapable and shouldn't push for more without professional supervision?). There was literally ZERO schooling happening, and that's just not how you build a sport horse. 


flying over the tiny coop
So the lesson is (re)learned: A quick easy ride wherein I push all the buttons to make sure they work (and fix whatever might be sticky) is way more beneficial than skipping out completely. Our 4-5x weekly schedule works, and can (and should) still include a lot of variety (like trails!). But I just cannot scrimp on our solo schooling rides. End of story.

Phew. Nothing quite like an abysmal event (yes I am happy with our experience at Waredaca, but you can't deny that it was a shit outing on paper) to send you into a minor tailspin reevaluating everything... Has that ever happened to you? 

18 comments:

  1. YAYYY! So happy you stuck with it and worked through this rough patch. :) Now go win some ribbons!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. lol seriously!! ribbons would be some pretty sweet icing on the cake :) i'll be happy with just some quality dressage and jumping!

      Delete
  2. Awesome ride! It's SO HARD to get everything in place and clicking!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. right? and then nothing ever stays where you put it lol. grrr... at least it's fun :)

      Delete
  3. I am queen of videos taken from a fence post. i feel your pain. she looks so much fun though! very light on her feet!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. videos from the fence post > no videos imo :) (even when the standard takes up almost half the frame!)

      Delete
  4. My mare is more blatant in reminding me when she's not getting enough work. Think dragon snorting and bucking and running and pulling my arms off. It's our deal: I don't hear about it when she's in heat, so, she reasons, I have zero excuses for slacking off on the attention.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. see that's more along what i'm used to - that makes more sense to me. like when i first started riding isabel, if she had a week off there was no guarantee i'd even be able to get back on without fireworks. now, it's the opposite - she just gets duller and blah-er, which leads to a vicious cycle of me thinking she needs more and more time off... so weird

      Delete
  5. I've been in a cave and missed some stuff. But you ladies look great!!! Really impressed

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanks! isabel has been doing super well :D

      Delete
  6. She looks so much more "boing-ier" in her jumping. Like she has springs in her hind legs!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She's definitely got hops! And everything is so much easier when she's up in front of my legs - I must not forget that!!

      Delete
  7. I keep staring at the gif =)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Replies
    1. Thanks - I'm pretty much nuts about this pony too :D

      Delete
  9. Love the gif's, very entertaining! You look fab of course.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you :D the gifs are maybe my favorite form of media lol

      Delete