Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New footing = sassy Tillie

In my last post, I mentioned the new footing work that was done New Years Day.The goal was to take out a lot of it from the smaller arena with it being too deep, and add it to the larger arena and cover more of the surface. Well apparently with this footing, a little goes a long way...

The large arena was leveled out and not quite finished so the entire right side of the ring and back corners have become a bit too deep. Very surprising considering there wasnt nearly enough footing at first before this work was done.

It is not unrideable at all...but will need to be addressed to prevent any injuries. I am dying to try it in the larger ring, but because that was taking so long, I settled to try the smaller arena.

Tillie loving peppermints and grooming. 

Despite Tillie losing her shoe only a few days after being shod, she seemed fine on it and I had a plan to try some exercises from my new Christmas present: 101 arena exercises. But once we got in the smaller ring it became apparent I would have to do some riding on the fly. The footing was really unlevel and still way too deep at each end of the ring. With this ring being a hair under dressage regulation, it makes trying to avoid those areas pretty tough.

Tillie was a bit pissy to start off, whether it was the odd footing, it being a bit colder or her missing shoe IDK...BUT I just kept her on a circle and tried to get her to relax.

She felt awfully tight and defensive through her whole body. I decided when we first trotted to not touch her face at all and just get her moving to warm up which seemed to help. We had a bit of trouble getting a forward, non-stabby trot I think with her not trusting the footing and her own balance, but eventually she started to figure it wasnt SO bad.

Shes always been funny and choosy about footing....yay for being a cross country horse lol. I wasnt planning on cantering in it until she threw a bit of a hissy and went back to leg means go rather then soften.

Emma hung out for a little bit as I started putting her together. I cant say it felt fabulous, but her and the other onlooker said she looked pretty light and uphill. We were running into more left bend and bridle unsteadiness tracking left, but it didnt seem to be nearly as bad and before. I also realized it is most like my crookedness causing this since the last two rides its apparent tracking left that I twist my body out causing my right leg to go forward and weight placement to be off. I imagine this makes it hard for Tillie to balance properly under me.

ALLLLL the footing

We did some figures of 18 meter circles a A and C crossing the diagonal each time to change the rein.

Once she got a bit more consistent here I worked on the homework from our last dressage lesson with C and worked on rating her trot in the middle of the ring where the footing was the most consistent. She had a bit more trouble with the go, but I attribute that to the small ring size and footing.

I did push into canter both leads a few times just to establish a proper depart and canter to offset her hissy fit earlier in the ride and be clear what the aid for canter is and what the aid for being is. Again it was a push ride in the canter and I think the footing was really making her work.

I didnt dislike it!

I did try for some stretchy trot to really hound relaxing and trusting balance more and once she gave me a little bit of try both directions with that I called it a day.

All this work makes me thirsty! 


  1. A little bit of try is awesome! I think I need to come join the redhead club over there :P

  2. She looks good!

    Also, that footing looks like it has some rubber/ "Nike" footing!

    1. thank you! There is rubber in there which is nice! We are hoping it wont freeze as early in the winter this year with it...

  3. ugh 'tis the season for inconsistencies in the ponies, i think...

    1. Id take this ride over yesterdays....