Monday, October 28, 2013

Whirlwind! (and foggy morning lessons)

The last 10 days have sort of evaporated into the fog that we've been blanketed in up here in the soggy corner of the world.  My brother had a beautiful wedding on Saturday which meant that towards the end of the week the ponies got the short end of the stick and my time was spent with family and friends and dress alterations and a really epic, really challenging hunt for the perfect shoe. :)

That's not to say that the mare had much time off.  We had two great lessons, the first working through some grids focusing on her, and the second with more grid work but focusing on me (ugh).
foggy morning playtime.
The focus for the lesson with Prair was getting her to stay relaxed through a pretty long cavaletti set (maybe 7 or 8?) first at the trot, and then at the canter (something that would have caused her brain to implode a year ago).  She was a rock star and all I had to do was sit like a neutral lump and not get in the way.

The focus for the lesson with me was to sharpen up my Eq and get a bit better and helping finesse her over the fences without looking like I was working hard or frustrated.  One thing that I've noticed when I watch S ride Prair at a show is that she does such an amazing job of making it look like a quiet, easy ride when she's still pretty actively arguing with the mare about a few key elements (leads, not galloping, etc). 

So, my "grid" was four fences, all two strides apart working from about 2'6" up to about 3'6" at the end. 

Primarily, one of my biggest issues is keeping my body quiet (and tall) and not "helping" Prair along by jackknifing myself over the fences (especially bigger ones) and ducking like a crazy person.

The grid was nice since it made me shut off the very large/loud part of my brain that is constantly nit-picking my distances.  That left lots of bandwidth for me to just think "tall, tall, tall, still, still, still."  When I finally stopped yo-yoing around in the tack a bit, S let me work on trying to shape the mare, and "ride" a bit more - so long as I didn't sacrifice a quiet upper body.

Here's a quick clip.  I think this was toward the end of the lesson? I don't remember.  I do remember that the fog was thick enough when we started that I couldn't see the last fence in the line as I went in. 

I guess that's one way to not overly anticipate a fence....


  1. I love grids because they really allow you to focus on something in particular and "shut off" other things. Once you go in, all you can do is ride it out!

  2. You guys look great. There's just something magical about a foggy ride.

  3. Um I couldn't see the last fence till all of the sudden you jumped it ha!

    Agree love grids too!

  4. I'm finally caught up! Yay for icky, rainy weather and lots of blog reading lol.

    You guys look fantastic!! I've enjoyed reading about your show season with Prairie. You two have come such a long way from when you got her and she was bolting all of the time. :) You should be proud of all of the great work you've done with her. Keep it up!!

  5. I love grids. Really freeing feeling.


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