Friday, May 29, 2009

Lesson, 28.05.09

Having turned into a jellified nanna (as opposed to the normal nanna state), the instructor got on him first. He looked like a totally 'normal' horse (first time I have really seen him ridden), and trotted forward round the carpark with nary a look at anything.
then across the road and into the sand arena...

Apart from a wee spook at the big puddle, he was absolutely fine; ditto the grass arena with not even a spook. Oh boy, did I feel dumb! Goes to show how much they feed off of us.

He did have a wee tanty when asked to flex each way, and stiffened totally, however she soon got through that.

He really looked quite nice ridden. He moves straight and seems to have a nice rhythm, and at the canter there looks to be a wee moment of suspension, so plenty to work with. He did one moment of shortening and starting to passage when some horses were moved up the hill behind him; I was told to ENJOY it when that happens, and just go with it.

So, onto my turn....
Just need to keep the nerves in check, and resist the temptation to shorten the reins.
He was absolutely fine, and even when a horse TOTALLY crashed a jump behind him, just leapt forward a bit, then back to rhythmic trotting...(Willie would have reacted more to be honest).

He needs me to reassure him when he is feeling insecure; rather than me grabbing on tight, and supporting his notion that things might just be a bit too scary!
Oh well, just keep working at it I guess. (Rode him the following day, and all was great!)

And here he is sporting his new hair cut. He was absolutely GREAT to clip, apart from the difficulties clipping when they are trying to smooch.

Monday, May 25, 2009

17.05.09 - Kaurilands

Well for his first competition outing, the weather started off really lovely.

Took Willie and did two novice tests on him (in the sun)...not particularly good tests, but couldnt really expect too much given he is only in occasional work, and flatwork is something I tend not to do.

Then tried to take Sampson for a walk around, and he started off not too bad. Did some groundwork to try and get his attention on me, which I think kind of worked. However when I tried to take him back to his yard, he got VERY strong despite being in his bridle.

I decided not to ride him in the first test, as it was up by the clubrooms where he has never been, and there was a lot going on - even Willie was very spooky in that arena.

However, ten minutes before I was due to get on him, the heavens opened up and it was absolutely torrential rain. I decided that I wouldnt ride him in his first ever test in that then eased off to simply become heavy rain, so off I went.

Carried my mounting block down to the sand arena (very necessary piece of equipment) and got on, only to have the dressage judge tell me I was due in ... NOW. So I walked him around the arena, did a short trot, and in we went.

He actually didnt do anything wrong; even the car and windscreen wipers didnt seem to worry him. It did help I think, that the arena was right where he had been ridden there previously. He did everything he was asked, trotted cantered did circles, the free walk was pretty strange...ha ha...wiggled woggled all the way across the arena, but he seemed relaxed enough. He was nice and straight up the centre line and halted when asked. so pretty pleased really.

Scored 50%, and actually got a couple of 6's. Lots to work on obviously, but we survived our first test. YAY

Thursday, May 14, 2009

ouch; first fall

Well, I guess it had to happen sooner or later (I would have preferred later).

Now sitting here trying not to move, as every little movement causes pain (dosed up on nurofen as soon as I walked in the door though) but I can feel it getting worse.

The pony was absolutely awful today.
Having had an awesome lesson wednesday being his first time in an arena. Although there were a few 'moments' overall he went well, and did some absolutely STUNNING trot work. I did find out however, that he is simply not capable at this stage of cantering straight down the long side, but that is something to work on.
He was also great yesterday, just did some trots and canters around the front paddock (which is where he was -for me anyway- unrideable one day last week).

Today....ok, let's work on straight. Jump paddock, right round perimeter concentrating on straightness....three or four times on the left...all good....then onto the right rein....first time, ok...then each time around he got progressively worse....kind of timing his skedaddles with them escalating in how bad they were.

I was so proud of myself, I simply rode him through them and carried on trotting around, concentrating on using my legs to direct him, and prevent repeats....then we had a big one that caught me then onto canter work.

Twice he anticipated and went onto wrong lead....then was just preparing him, and I dont know what happened but there was a huge head flick, he spun one way, then leapt the other (and that was one stirrup gone), then another leap forward and sideways and OFF we went....I was hanging out the side, and I am afraid I decided to simply bail out.

Not sure if it was the right thing to do or not, but I can now say, that despite trying to do it so that I was in charge of how I fell it didnt quite go to plan. Wasnt as easy to just get my foot out of the stirrup, and there was a definite delay before I hit the ground (it is a long way down). Well the new back protector now has mud all over it, as does my helmet as my head kind of banged back onto the ground also.

I can also say, that I really dont think my new back protector gives the same level of impact protection as my old stiff cardboard box one did...I definitely felt the impact of this fall !

Worst thing was having to get back on again. Which I am proud to say, I did. Yes, I was incrediblly tense, but I did ride through it and trotted and even did some canter work. Thankfully he pulled no more stunts.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Do I, Don't I ??

He has been going so well, and I have been feeling so confident, that I put in an entry for Kaurilands.

No sooner done, than it all turns to custard: again that Mr Murphy and his blimmen law!

I had been happily riding him in whatever paddock, trotting and cantering around the perimeter (not just 'safe' little circles) and apart from the odd spook (ie ducks flying out of pond) or wee skedaddles, he was going very well, and I was able to laugh at the odd 'moment' and just carry on.

Then for some unknown reason, he was absolutely awful....I could barely trot a circle and he was off skeedaddling with butt under him, head in the air, and generally very tense (and scary). Having trotted one circle I dismounted and did a whole lot of ground work - hmmm he was very relaxed, head down, and obedient.

Next ride, back on good behaviour again.

Oh well, I will take him next weekend, and simply take it a step at a time. If all we achieve is some ground work in amongst the excitement, so be least he will have been out and about. If we progress to some ridden work, even better.
And if by some extremely slim chance, we end up actually in an arena, there will be great cause for celebration.

Now, where did I put my brave pills?