Thursday, December 17, 2015

Riding in the rain

I made it a mission that I would get my booty to the barn Monday despite the rain forecast...with it being close to 60 degrees in December I think it would be a poor excuse to not ride.

Well about halfway to the barn it started to drizzle. No big deal, a little rain won't make me melt. Luckily for me Tillie came galloping up to the gate again (I am sure it was due to being close to dinner time) and I was able to quickly get her ready to try to get on quickly before the heavier rain came.

I chose my shaped snaffle for this ride for times sake...the double rein experiment on the pelham would have to wait another we head down to the ring and warm up at the walk. There were many other riders and a lesson going on, so a lot to look at, but Tillie didnt seem to mind too much. Shockingly, both left and right bend were there fairly easily just off leg and on a looser rein. I started adding contact and she initially wanted to bog down and lean but a few little bumps with the inside leg she went ooooh ok, work mode.

Looking for food before our ride. Note to self: My horse is starting to muscle out like a real horse!

We went ahead and started trotting which the first transition wasnt perfect, but with it being warm up I didnt fuss..just wanted a clean step up off my leg. She was a bit unsure of the rhythm she wanted at was subtle though and simply closing my leg and being consistent in my post led her right to where I wanted. I knew her trot was a bit flat, but for Tillie, warming up there doesnt bother me since more usually isnt the issue and tonight was definitely a less is more kind of night. I could have clucked or used leg and she would have shot forward (usually what we want right!?) I just cant start off sending her off too quickly or else the rest of the ride is focused on getting her to loosen up her back from the excitement of going bigger.

Tillie has no issues with going bigger, we just need to make it relaxed and no big deal.
I focused more on closing the outside rein from my last dressage lesson and started asking for the stretchy trot. While it wasnt as pronounced as my C lesson, Tillie was trying and I could let her frame go longer and bring it back without and loss of connection. Sure it wasnt as long, but Ill take it!

So then we went to canter where I felt the entire ride our transition from my end didnt feel as together. Tillie was doing what she was supposed to, I just couldnt get my own timing right. I am just going to chalk it up to being out of practice...

I did some 20m circles both ways to warm up and establish trot transitions without was a little harder for her then usual, but again not as bad as I have felt before. I then went into the exercise C gave us for homework. It did exactly what it did in that lesson when we tried it and produce a much softer, maneuverable canter.

And that is when the heavier rain came.

No big deal...I just embraced it despite needing windshield wipers for my face. I was actually about to call it a day on that note, but looking at the time it had only been about 20 minutes and I know I need to start abiding by following a schedule and thought 20 min is usually just enough for warm up and I needed to get into something else to work on something to walk away with new.

I started off with some walk trot transitions in a serpentine pattern fully expecting Tillie to brace through the change from right to left like usual. She did at first and definitely got a bit rushy towards the barn, but a few rounds of that she gave in and became REALLY soft. It was quite lovely.

I was even able to start asking for a bit more of the energetic, working trot here and she was able to without losing the softness. Another win!!

Tillie feeling so proud of herself

Since she got that so quickly, I went ahead and incorporated this into canter trot canter work. I did the below exercise.

Again, I fully expecting bracing to happen and a lot of needing to circle in canter or trot a bit more before being able to complete this exercise. I did have to circle a few times, but all in all she was able to change the rein and transition really well! All while doing this in pouring rain!

Soaking wet selfie to document being awesome.
I could really get used to these more awesome rides :) It is starting to make this riding thing fun, and I know things will get hard again, and there will be ups and downs, but for now I am loving every moment.


  1. That is an awesome exercise! I'm filing it away for when I can utilize it. Also, I don't know how I never noticed but Tillie has awesome facial markings.

  2. I like that exercise, might have to steal it :)

  3. aaaaaand i remain grateful that we made it back into the barn *before* the downpour lol