Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Today has been brought to you by the letter P and the number "180"

Ok, first off, P is for poop.  because this horse managed to poop 4 times between pulling her out of her stall, riding, and untacking/polishing.  FOUR TIMES.  Really, mare? At least I know everything's moving...

Yesterday was a great lesson.  We worked past the trot/canter jig business and got to busy.  S replaced our poles with pole "piles" about 8 canter strides apart and P liked them plenty.  We trotted them, cantered them, all dandy.  She was relaxed and good and got over her fight.  only a couple hops during canter transitions, but good cantering once we got it.  all good.

Today, I got up and hit the barn early to school cute little Charlie before a pony clubber came to try him out again.  So. Much. Fun.  I miss ponies. they are cute and since I like always shortening a stride they're little sewing machine legs work great for me.  We warmed up, and then got to do a little course. I realized after I got on that I'm not sure I've jumped ANYTHING since 2005... details, details.  Fortunately Charlie is a saint and was a little forgiving of my distances, but we got them in the end.  So fun.  I hope Pia likes jumping... because I sorta miss it.

THEN, we got on P.  Chased her in the ring for a few minutes, then tacked up and got straight on.  She was a totally different horse this morning (hence the (180). No jigging, no tightness, no hops, no qualms, no anything - except for calm and relaxed and accepting of my leg and bit.  (what???).

S didn't question it, instead we just moved forward.  long low trot work, up into some canter intervals and three poles spaced at one stride each. 

What'd P do? rocked them.

Easy transitions, listened perfectly to half halts and leg. opened her stride, shortened her stride, halted, started, rocked the socks off it all.

The confusing thing is that we didn't work through any of it.  It's not like we "unlocked" anything, she just magically did everything better.

So what the heck changed?

  1.  I rode in the morning.  I know she was used to getting ridden in the am.. but so far I've always been on her in the afternoon or evenings.. is she a morning girl?
  2.  I switched saddles.  Instead of S's Hermes, I popped her Bevel on there.. it looks like it fits about the same (but maybe P has something against the French...)
  3.  The Bevel drops my leg a little farther back... and makes it easier for me to keep it on her.. so maybe my weight was distributed a little differently?
  4. It had been about 12 hours since her last ride and she hadn't had breakfast (maybe she was tired/her blood sugar levels were low and she was lazy..)
Of course there's always the possibility that it all just clicked and she decided I'm a nice lady and she should just behave.  But that doesn't seem like her sneaky self. There's got to be something else...

Below are our video from this morning.. First some warm up circles up and down the arena, then our canter poles.. note the boring, boring transitions!  My fault for not backing up half halts with enough leg...

Trot Warm up:

Canter poles to the Right.... (our sticky side)

Annnnnd to the left (rock star!)

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