Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Speak softly and carry a big stick

Finally, we are starting to settle into a training schedule...with her shenanigans and my work calming down maybe we can stay on another positive streak!

I really wanted to get back in the saddle right away after our lesson with C to make sure I could freshly remember the feel of what we worked on. So away we went! I tried not to think of pretty anything, so doubt we were really connect or in a deep enough frame, but rather worked on the step behind and staying lighter in front. I also tried to take C's advice and ASK for what I wanted quickly and concisely...rather than a holding aid but a effective, quick aid and increase it if needed. So I tried to "Speak softy and carry a big stick"

First I let her walk on a loose rein both directions really just asking nothing just letting my legs "flap" and trying to allow her to freely swing her back. After she settled in and found a good rhythm I slowly started picking up my reins with the goal of not breaking the rhythm or tempo. 

Once there, I began thinking about my hands - Giving more with the right hand and asking of more with the left (In general this seems to be true for me no matter which direction we go), 
I can only imagine her expression based on the ears back "I'm over this" stance.

Once the walk felt good, I asked for a trot. She got a bit wound up at first and it took two 20m circles to get her to relax, all while using my body to do it and not my hands. I really focused on making my post deliberate and sitting tall and more forward than usual.

Left was her harder side on Sunday so I decided to start there...she wants to fall in that direction and not bend as much so C suggested letting her fall into a smaller circle until she re-balances herself. So that I did hearing C's voice in my head reminding me not to use my outside, right rein to hold her or pull her out, but rather inside left leg.

It was hard for her but we did it! Then we changed the rein and tracked right for a bit which was much easier. I then decided to do serpentines to focus on staying consistent in our rhythm through the change. Tillie has the tendency to speed up or slow down depending on the day.

Last but not least, we worked on our canter. I tried to listen to what C said and not surprise her so much in the transition and well they felt as smooth as glass! I stayed light in my seat and was more in a half seat to allow like C suggested and let her settle, then added the "flutter" leg to get the inside hind to jump. She was a good girl!

I did tie twine to my stirrups to help me keep my leg where it needed to be (A suggestion from a different trainer) and boy were my legs on fire.
Evil pony! 

Soooo thirsty after working so hard.


  1. awesome that you're already seeing so much improvement in the canter transitions! also interesting about tying the stirrups. i've seen ppl do that (esp in hunterland) but have never tried it myself. got dragged once by the stirrups and am now permanently leery of anything that looks like it could get me tangled up! paranoia lol.... i got it!

    1. I was too, but they are tied so loose that if I dont keep my feet there on my own merit they will come untied. By tying them I can feel subtly oh wait my leg is starting to move too far forward or back...well in my case forward ;)