Thursday, November 11, 2010

Duck, Duck, Goose! (kick)

Last night was a quiet ride.  P was pretty much the same as Tuesday.  She stayed pretty quiet, still quite a bit of tension, but nothing tragic, and certainly nothing that interferred with our ability to school our regular stuff.  We walked, we trotted, we cantered.  Only one buck, this time at the trot when I got after her for ducking (extra bad) behind the vertical.

My biggest struggle with the ride was keeping her up and in front of my leg.  She was really curling behind the bit, but was still forward so I was playing the balancing act of more leg/slow down and balance.  She was really rushed and on her forehand BUT, we were moving forward, and we were (mostly) not bucking which is a nice step and I need to be better about acknowledging that.

I had the barn to myself last night, which happens just enough that I enjoy it, and not so often that I get bored.  So I threw the video camera up, and (of course) didn't get nearly as nice footage as I wanted, but in the spirit of sharing our shortcomings, I'll throw another clip up.

I let P run around the ring again.  She didn't have much steam to burn off so we played a nice game of tag.  I'd chase her, then stop, turn and run and she'd come skittering after me.  Then I'd stop, turn and waggle my arms at her chasing her away again.  I think she enjoyed it.  Lots of snorting and head tossing.  She is pretty damn cute when she wants to be....

We had a quick lunge, and she was above average, so I was pretty hopefully about our ride.  In fairness, she was pretty good.  She didn't balk in her trot transitions at all (good mare!! SUGAR), and she was immediately willing to trot forward.  Still tight, still holding her back, but better than two weeks ago. 

I think last night, I was the one to blame.  I felt myself get frustrated and I really wanted to "go-to" some sharp kicks and rein jabs when she was totally tuning me out.  I was sorta disappointed with myself for that.  I was being a chicken about supporting her with my left leg (regardless of the direction) and I was enabling her "curl" with my hand.  Last night reinforced the fact that my patience is still a little damaged.  I don't trust that Pia will meet me halfway, so I'm preemptively being a snot to her.  I can't imagine that is a good long term solution, and it's something I know I need to get over.

Essentially, I indulged in my bad habits (long reins, took my leg off, pumped my shoulders, over corrected...).  This is why I still need lessons on a (very) regular basis.  That, or some sort of mental reset button so that my frustrations don't leak out into Pia's brain. 

For all of those retrospective faults of mine, P put in a good show.  She didn't kick ONCE in a canter transition (YAY!), and the crappy ones were my fault.  I really need to set her up better to the right...

Our leg yields were pretty good.  She kept me honest, when I wasn't supporting her, she just fell out to the side, when I did support her she lifted an crossed over nicely.  Same with our lengthenings:

Support = nice push and stretch.
No Support = diving on forehand and rushing

A pretty good push in her lengthening when I ask right...
(Sorry for the blur.  zooming in on this video is sorta tragic)

She never really softened to the right, something which I started picking on a little too late in the ride to get any good results.  But all in all.  We rode on our own, barely spooked at three scarrrrrry cars as they came down the driveway, and we deserved lots of sugar.

Clearly I am the one who needs to step up their game a little.  :)

Here's a clip of a couple leg yields and one lengthening I think.  It's not our best one, but it was the first one I found to make a clip of.  You can definitely see when I'm riding correctly and when I'm not.  P is not subtle about her intolerance of sub-par horsemanship.


  1. Thoughtful analysis on your part!

  2. Gingham, how do you set up the video for yourself? Is it on a tripod or just on the edge of the ring? Looks like a really valuable tool for evaluating your rides, so I'd love to hear how you set it up so I can try it. I agree with Kate, very thoughtful analysis, which will in turn lead to good results.

  3. Thanks Kate! I can never see what's happening at the time, but a good 12 hours later, it usually clarifies in my brain... :)

    Marissa - it's a great tool for me! I use a Gorilla-pod ( It's a handy little thing that pretty much makes it possible to film anywhere. I've attached to to my car, a tree, poles, squished it over a rock.. you name it. I think I have the medium size which works for my big digital SLR and my small video camera...

  4. That is so cool! I didn't know such things existed... [Adding to Christmas wish list] Thanks!

  5. Great job taking responsibility for the ride - you are on the right track :) The game of tag sounds fun!


Related Posts with Thumbnails