Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Sunday Hack (and more halter woes)

After our instruction packed start to the weekend, I was eager to get on the mare and see what the heck we could accomplish on our own.  The return of the drizzle sent me indoors where S was finishing up a leadline lesson.  I'm not 100%, but I'm pretty sure that the indoor is in fact smaller than a 20x40 meter ring, which makes for a bit of a cramped ride with Prairie and her "long lines" if someone else (namely a beginner on a line) is also riding. 

But, being relegated to a 20(ish) meter circle gave us a good opportunity to work on our zero-inside-rein-tolerance policy. 
(I might order this sign for the barn.  I need it, and I bet it would have a bigger impact than the "drug free" version does around high schools...)
So we started at the walk.  I was entirely focused on keeping my back straight (and tall! and even!) and my hands loose and following Prairie wherever Prairie wanted to go.  As she accepted my outside rein I focused on pushing her into it (Back tall! butt even! hands soft!) and asking for her to focus more and more on me, and less and less on the Donkey in the courtyard.  I noticed that in the game of push-push-pushing her into my outside rein, the size of our walk grows and pretty soon we're speed walking around our circle.  So I then tried to be mindful of our tempo and stride length without pushing the "back tall!" "hands soft!" out of my brain.

When S's lesson finished, we moved up into our trot work and moved out a bit more than we did during out lesson on Saturday (and much more than the micro-jog we worked on during Friday's lesson).  P2 was good.  I tried not to get annoyed when she tossed her head and stayed as true as possible to my "no inside rein" mantra.

We warmed up well and I threw in some serpentines to test our transfer of the outside rein (yay!), transitions to test my amount of leg (yay!) and then spiraled in and out of our circles to really lock P2 into my outside aids.

We felt great.

The mirrors in our indoor look more like a fun house than anything else, but even a distorted reflection (maybe it's not distorted... maybe I am really THAT wobbly looking) was enough of a reminder to get my butt under me, my chest out and a strong stabilizing post going.

Feeling ballsy I started to throw a few leg-yields in and holy crap they were rad.  I guess lateral work is easier when your horse is on the outside aids  who knew... (lol).

Anyway.  We worked a few canter transitions (no inside rein, no inside rein!!!) which felt strung out to me, but I didn't cheat! I stopped our canter work before I wanted because young kid came into the ring for a lesson, but  I finished P2 with some long and low work just looping around the arena.  I let Prairie go as low as she wanted, which resulted in her nose getting dirty and her butt a little strung out, but I was so happy she could stay on her feet that I let her be.

6 weeks ago this horse would have fallen on her face if I asked her to tip that far forward... So that was neat.  Also, she was so tuned in that our changes in direction were super fluid and balanced - even on the buckle.

Good mare.  I almost forgot how mad I was at her about the halter snapping... until I tied the rope halter back on her big head.

Speaking of halters.  GRRRRR.  I also got in a fight with the company that makes her big (pretty) halter.  They flat out refuse to sell a replacement crown piece.  I know I can order one from Smartpak, or Stateline, or wherever, but I HATE when things don't match (who knew).  I figured if I called the company up all sweet and "ooooooh I just LLOOOOOOVE my stuff from you" that they'd be so thrilled to have me as a customer they would sell me a replacement, even though none of their distributors seem to stock replacement parts.  But no, they declined to sell me just a crown piece.

Not even a pleasant English accent masked their latent disinterest in my plea.  Rude.

So fine.  Screw that.  I will take my tack whoring elsewhere (namely eBay) and I will give my dollars to someone else.  So I did.  I found this guy for not that much money:
(not my horse)
 But Prairie doesn't get to wear it yet.  Not until she stands like a lady in her rope halter for a while.  I do not relish this game that she has learned, and if I have to stand behind her with a broom and swat her butt every time she steps back, I will.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you with the zero tolerance on halter breaking! What a little brat move, but she's smart and she'll figure it out quickly. The new halter is very pretty if that helps at all lol.

    Sounds like you had a great ride. I'm happy for you!


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