Monday, December 3, 2012

Raising Your GPA (Good P Average)

This weekend I discovered a new measurement tool for how my day at the barn goes - my GPA. 

Now unlike High School and College where my GPA floated somewhere north of 3.7 without much effort, the new GPA (Good P Average) falls somewhat lower, even when considering a perfect score is a 2.0 (two P's... so two possible points).

If a mare is great and happy and a pleasure to work with, she gets her full point.  A good ride but tough? .75.  Kind of a twit? somewhere between .25 and .50.  And of course totally god awful would earn a mare a big fat 0.0 on the day (and possibly a for sale sign). 

Now I get that I'm adding their scores (not really averaging), but I never said it was a perfect system. 

Saturday Prairie was a good girl, but a tough ride.  We tried to do some figure eights over a cavaletti in the indoor, but Prairie was all tweedley and got so damn freaked out by the 8" pole that we had to make it a bit more remedial before we found success.  But she finished on a good note and earned a solid .60 for the day.  When she wasn't anxious though, Prairie was very balanced and engaged in her canter.  Considering that we were back in a snaffle I appreciated that effort and focus.

Pia was a star for S, but got a little exuberant and wanted to crow hop around a bit so she finished with a .75. 

Grand total for the day?  1.35. 

Sunday however I came home with a rather dismal 1.0 GPA.  The morning started out gorgeous and we had every intention of taking the girls for a trail ride.  But by the time I got to the barn the clouds blew in and it was pouring buckets.  Since lessons were filling up the indoor we still rode outside but the slop encouraged us to stay at home instead of risking worse weather on the trail and the inevitable mud. 

I put Prairie back in the pelham and planned to do a quick 20 minute school, almost like a show warmup.  Hop on, walk a bit, pop some transitions.  Shoulder in each way.  Short canter tour and done.  No need to work too hard when the rain is coming down sideways. 

Prairie however had other plans.  She was nervous, fidgety and explosive.  I think she was just distracted and excited at the cold air/rain and looking for excuses but it was not enjoyable.  I tried diffusing with some of our magical halt/slow rein back stuff but every halt rendering her snorty and pawing.  And our rein back was rushed and anxious, or totally ignored and replaced with small bunny hops/threats to rear.

Not. Okay.

Meanwhile Pia was the cutest little squirrel imaginable.  She was soft, but attentive.  Both her ears and lower lip were floppy the whole time and she was perfectly happy to walk and trot around in the rain splashing through all the puddles. (she's still being ridden in a rope halter with two reins to the nose)

I finally got so fed up/freaked out with Prairie that S and I swapped beasties.  She tried to walk Prairie calmly (emphasis on tried) while I finished on a happy note with Miss Pia. 

Prairie really cemented her 0.0 score when walking her out to pasture was more of a kite flying exercise than anything else.  Pia on the other hand was super soft and very obedient with her leading exercises even with her anticipation of rejoining Prairie out in pasture.  So Pia carried the team with a 1.0.

The Good (albeit soggy) Sister (at least on Sunday)


  1. Ha! I love the new system. I feel there should be an excel sheet with a listing of the daily scores broken down by mare and a monthly average...

    Not that I'm an OCD list maker or anything.

  2. So happy Pia was such a good girl for you! Nothing like that kind of behavior to solidify your decision that Summer Camp was a great idea :)

  3. Haha I like this... Hmm... Maybe I'll have to make a hue grading method.

  4. LOL! I love the new grading system. :) Sorry Prairie was such a pill, but Pia sure was awesome. So much for synchronizing the bad days lol.


Related Posts with Thumbnails