Friday, March 18, 2011

Wednesday Ride

Moderate Success!

Hoping for a repeat of Monday's ride, I tucked the video camera into my bag when I headed to the barn on Wednesday.  Flashes of my last attempt to video a ride (OW) danced in my brain and I wondered if my desire to try and prove that P's trot can be big and swinging was just asking the horsey gods (and P) to laugh in my face and instead give me yet another recorded instance of how not to get off your horse.

P's fidgety face in the cross ties and cranky ears signaled that maybe my suspicions were correct and the presence of the video camera now only served to bring out Mare-Wolf behaviors.  When the two other boarders at the barn took their mares out to the grass paddocks for some grazing, I knew I was cooked.

If there's one thing that drives Pia INSANNNNNNE, it's horses grazing just on the other side of the arena wall.  It completely short circuits her (otherwise someone sneaky and intelligent) mare brain....  But.... SuperMom's words were echoing in my ear about how I needed to let her brain explode and work the mare through such apparently extreme challenges.

Mentally, I acknowledged that this might not be a riding day, but that I would be ok with getting P to ignore the grazers and focus on me even if it took 45 minutes on the ground.  I grabbed the camera and tucked it into my vest on the off chance I'd actually throw a leg over the beast if she was behaving.

True to form, the mare was totally checked out.  It was unfathomable to her that I would ask her to work while others played and even more inconceivable that she should have to look at me instead of craning her head every which way to keep an eyeball on the grazers...

After about 15 minutes, I started to get her brain refocused on what I was asking instead of what was happening outside the ring.  About 5 minutes after that, both of the grazers went inside and P totally returned to normal.

So I turned on the camera, got on and crossed my fingers.  She was sticky to start, but less so than Monday (yay!) so that was our first success.  The loose, stretchy, bouncing trot from Monday was missing, but Pia was listening and all hints of Mare-Wolf were gone which made for another success, though I was missing the Monday Trot Spectacular.

We only worked under saddle for about 20 minutes.  It felt short, but given the extra hard lunging and general good behavior, I felt like it was prudent to quit while I was significantly ahead (and still in the saddle :) ).

We just stuck with the basics, forward canter both directions (still no kicking or bucks!), big working trot, a few lengthening requests and lots of stretchy trot with figure eights.
Her right hip is stepping under more and more these days... progress!


I apologize for the blurry shots and teeny tiny video... I experimented with the camera in a new spot.  I think I like it, but I did realize I could have gotten closer and stayed in the frame.  Either way, here's a few short clips of our work Wednesday...  I wish I got the big movement from Monday, but honestly, this is still such an improvement over the last time I tried to video at home, that I'll take it :)

Other random good news? P's bodywork got moved from today to Sunday afternoon, so I can stuff more rides in this weekend, yahoo!

Now for some YouTube audio track roulette! what will it be? acoustic guitar? ambient spa music? whoooo knows!

First up: Working trot... the start of the ride

Left lead canter... clearly we need to work on straightness (among other things)

Annnnnd Stretchy trot at the end... not our best or most consistent, but pretty damn good considering how wild she started out...


  1. Pia is seriously one of the most beautiful horses I have ever seen! Just wow.

  2. Thanks! :) I think she's awfully pretty myself, but I'm more than a little biased..

  3. She's such a pretty mover! It looks like she was being good. :)


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