(sorry for all the re-used photos, I swear I'll have new ones soon!)
I popped out to the barn yesterday afternoon for P's pedicure (Have I mentioned how much I love, love, LOVE her barefoot??) and caught up with the BO about her morning ride. I'd be lying if I said I ws confident that Pia was going to be a good girl from here on out, and I was a little concerned that even though she sucked it up and gave me a good ride Monday, I could envision the possibility of everything going sideways on Tuesday.
Fortunately for me, the BO had nothing but a glowing report. She gave P two quick corrections at the start, and the rest of the ride went smoothly. She did mention that she swapped the side reins for a running martingale (as minor backup in case P decided to be uppity) and apparently it went well. One of the items we discussed monday was whether or not the side reins made a difference for my ride, or if they were just a mental crutch for me.. Regardless of what purpose they served, they are not a long term solution, so experimenting with alternatives is a good idea. I mentioned that I liked the idea of a running martingale (helps if things go haywire, doesn't interfere if they don't...) more than draw reins, or anything else we discussed...
I started racking my brain for where I saw a black running martingale (I was looking for one a few weeks back and I swear I saw one somewhere..), but for the life of me I cannot remember which random tack site I saw it on... Anyway, the BO popped up to her tack storage area and came trotting back down with a martingale from the depths of her predominantly dressage tack trunk. I had to giggle a little since it had the signature "pony" knots in the fork, which I'm pretty sure every 12 year old girl has tied at least once before hopping on for schooling/x-country/clinics, whatever. In fact, as I thought about it, I started realizing how much stuff I had with permanent knots in it from the original pony. Martingales, flash nosebands (I know, I know... just use a hole punch), reins... the list is fairly extensive.. Knots are a handy thing.:)
Anyway, BO pulled the knots out and we decided to give the martingale a go. I'm glad to hear that it went well, and especially that Pia was forward and willing. Apparently she even played around with some zig-zagging leg yields which is a moved I wouldn't have dreamed of attempting 2 months, or even 2 weeks ago. (yay mare!).
Today we have our first lesson at the new barn, and I'm super excited. It's nice to feel like we are moving in a forward direction (literally) again. Fingers crossed that we stay on track!