Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Where We Are

There's not a lot of stress with Windsy right now.  For one thing, all this unseasonable sunshine is drying out pastures and making the grass grow like crazy - so Mr. Gray Man is getting lots of big green field time. 

He's making the most of it - as indicated by needing to go up two girth sizes in one week.  It's nice to see him putting a little extra weight on.. but very confusing when I'm trying to guess what girth to grab for the day...

Under saddle we are continuing to work on our forward step and me not pulling him off of that.  That means I don't get to turn with my outside rein (but, I LOVE trapping the shoulder) or wait in the corner until I see a distance (I also love waiting in corners)

Lots of lengthening and collecting at the trot and canter, and holy moly are we getting adjustable.  All the sudden Winds has the strength to stay lifted and uphill in his adjustments and he almost feels like a fancy dressage horse. 

Two months ago our "lengthenings" felt like a 10% change.  Now they feel like a 40% change. 

It's awesome.  It's in his back and up his wither and just lovely to feel.

It's also a really good way for me to get used to what he's supposed to feel like when we are maintaining a big, active step.

We are also working lots on our counter canter - which is rad now that Winds realizes it's a thing.  Before he definitely didn't know it was a thing and got mad that I was telling him to do something wrong. 

It's a thing.

And now we do it.

On the flat there is also a lot of spiraling in and out which is great for our balance and impulsion and me not getting stuck turning with that outside rein (dangit).

Over fences, Winds has decided that jumps under 3' are ok to jump.  He looks less like a moose falling over a log, and more like a cute, tolerant pony. 

My leg, however is a different issue
I am supporting this transformation by keeping his balance up-up-up.  I feel like his head is in my lap - but in actuality, it's a lovely place for him to stay.

The balance coming up means I have to stay forward instead of opening up and leaning back.  Me staying forward (even when I want to collect) is very hard for my brain.  But I've noticed I brace less and keep a softer, more adjustable horse if I stay just a touch more closed in my hip than I want to.

When all of this is happening, the jumps are so easy to find.  It doesn't matter how big or small they are, we just canter up and canter away.  The trick is not letting Winds' hind leg slow down, or letting my brain talk me out of a carrying a touch more pace.

We've got 10 days until heading up to Thunderbird for a week (or maybe) two of showing.  Current plan is the 3'3" Pre-Greens for Winds (I think) and the 2'9" for me.  I'm feeling really confident about where we are and continuing to lock in our partnership.


  1. You guys will no doubt, slay up there.

  2. I am working on staying forward, too. So very, very hard for my brain. Gotta stay back in case he falls behind my leg, or we get a funky distance or, heaven forbid, a stop. Turns out my leg is more effective when I'm more forward and that also solves all the problems I just listed. Go figure.

  3. I think I would buy an entire calendar of pictures of your beautifully dappled horse huntering on a grass field.

  4. Can't wait to hear all about the show. I love that pic of you guys!

  5. Two girth sizes, oh my! (Tho my rotund and def not pregnant mare relates...). Good luck at the show - sounds like Windsor is developing beautifully!

  6. Drooling over him! He is sooooo handsome!!

    Sounds like things are going great for you guys and lush green pastures, sounds wonderful!!

  7. Exciting times ahead. You guys keep gelling and getting better, there will be absolutely no stopping you!

  8. Love the pictures, you guys look GREAT! Glad to hear things are continually improving with you and Windsor. Good luck at the show, can't wait to read all about it! :)

  9. I love reading about your fairytale with Winds, so happy for you!

  10. Gah, he's just so adorable and sounds so fabulous to ride. Awesome!


    This was your conscience speaking. Ignore that other nagging voice going on and on about "budgeting". He's a hater.

  12. Ahhh! Can't wait to see how you guys do at the show!


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