Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Ride the Horse Underneath You

I went out for a quick evening ride last night to try and get back into the groove of riding.  The ride on Sunday wasn't stellar, and I think it was because I didn't really have anything in mind for what I wanted to do.  I wasn't actually schooling, but I wasn't actually going on a trail/hack ride either.  It was a mish mash of things that just didn't work.  Last night, I went out with a fairly clear idea as to what I wanted to focus on - relaxed transitions, some lateral work.  I didn't have much time to ride, so I was all about getting down to business. 

Fat poneh

I tacked up and took Koda into the front pasture where an outdoor arena used to be (no more fence or anything, but it is flat and has good drainage).  I wanted to start with some nice and easy leg yields, big circles, some shoulder-in at walk, but Koda had different ideas.  The moment I put my leg on, he went into a very fast-paced trot, completely on alert.  The conversation went a bit like this:
Me: Koda, all I want for you to do is walk!  Easy there
Me: Ok turkey, trot it out....
Koda:  AH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *trots faster*
Me: Easy buddy, just relax
(loose reins, stroking on his neck)

This went on for about 5 minutes.

Finally, Koda realized that slowing down and trotting nicely is a bit easier than trotting at mach-10 (he was not allowed to canter).  We did some nice big circles, worked on just relaxing into the rhythm and tempo of the trot, keeping it consistent (even beside the "scary" red sheds that he grazes beside every day...), and just getting into the groove.  At this point I decided to go into some canter transition work which resulted in him tensing up and blasting.  Luckily, he does listen and come back rather well, so we just did tons of canter transitions with some walk transitions thrown in.  Relaxation is the key with Koda when riding outside of the indoor arena.  After a bit of improvement in the canter, I asked for one last canter to the right and it was lovely.  He gave me the exact same quality of canter he would in the indoor, and I was over the MOON!  Now we just need to get that consistently outside and we're good.  After that, we did some basic trot-walk-halt transitions, practicing on coming to a square halt such as after a dressage test, and called it a day. 

So!  On the to-do list for the next few weeks are as follows:
 Ride out in the outdoor arena at the rodeo grounds, the ag society grounds, and at Irene's
 Fitness (schooling ride, then hack out)
 Keep contact consistent, stop fiddling

Easy lawn mowing for the yard!
Don't worry, it's fenced

Time to get both of us back into fighting shape!

Up next:  Liebster Blog Award Nominations (Thanks Carly and Emmi!)


  1. I think I will forever be telling myself to RELAX lol :)

  2. Lately I have been making my self take deep breaths when cantering, helps me relax a lot and I think Simon too :)