I will bail this pony from auction if we can find her a ride from OKC to TX.
Not fundraising, just looking for a ride.
Blue was so good yesterday! Ashleen invited me out on the trail with her and the other girls, which was doubly exciting because Ashleen finally got her project mare. Unfortunately, while we were on the way out to the trail, the mare had a mare moment, so Ash decided to stay behind and school her, and I decided to stay as well. Boy, am I glad I did. After a long warm-up and multiple circles to get Blue into a working trot instead of his usual cow-pony trot, he started to loosen up and respond. And, what a surprise, he picked up his left lead on the first try! Silly me, I didn’t expect it and started bringing him back to a trot immediately. But then he got it again, and again, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled.
After that, I cantered him a couple of times in the other direction and then popped him over a cavaletti. He was doing so well that I decided to bring him down a line of crossrails. He was great! Didn’t touch the rails, and cantered nicely through the whole line. I was so pleased that I decided to do something I hadn’t attempted yet – trot down over the cavaletti, and canter up over the line. Blue took it all in stride, if you’ll forgive the pun, and I ended our ride on that note!
I’m going out to ride again tomorrow, and hopefully I’ll be able to get some pictures or video!
Gah! I meant to be more diligent about documenting my rides with Blue, but life always has a way of foiling my plans. Here’s a quick catch-up:
Our first ride was super low-key, since my goal was just to gauge what Blue is like and what I can do to help him as a rider. The first thing I noticed is that he seems to be fairly casual about the location of his feet and the rhythm of his trot. I singled that out as something to work on long-term: establishing better rhythm, exploring different speeds within gaits, and thinking about where he puts his feet. His lovely owner told me to make sure I give him his head, which will be a very important thing to remember, since I know I can often be tight in my arms and shoulders. Had to cut this ride short, sadly, since there was a huge thunderstorm rolling in and I didn’t want to get caught in it.
I was away for a while over July 4th weekend, but when I came back I needed a bit of a vacation (post-vacation-vacation? this is totally a thing) so when I rode Blue next it was much more of a play-around ride and less of a schooling one. There were some small jumps set up in the ring, including a gymnastic, so after a warm-up and some struggles with his sticky left lead, I popped him over the smaller jumps and then the gymnastic. He seemed a bit hesitant at first, but once he realized what the deal was, he started coming together nicely. There were a few clunky moments but the effort was there, and I was super pleased with his willingness to go along with me. I was a bit worried he would refuse, at least on the gymnastic, but he didn’t! I was thrilled, and he got lots of treats.
The next ride was more serious schooling. I did lots of circles and lots of transitions, trying to engage his hind end and his mind in what we were doing. After a brief period of cow-pony trotting, he started giving me a pace I was more comfortable with, and even slowed down nicely for some sitting trot. But! He was still sticky on that left lead. His right lead transitions were great, but his left lead was a challenge – running into the wrong lead and then taking a while to come back down to the trot. I’m not sure if it was me failing to balance him up and flex him, or if he is just worse to that side – Blaze was always worse on the right, and eventually I just figured out how to help him deal with it.
Our next ride was almost 100% trotting. Lengthening, extending, sitting trot, medium trot, trotting circles, you name it. It was hot as hell and I was definitely struggling towards the end of the ride, but Blue showed some serious improvement even after just a few rides. I was really happy especially with his halt transitions, which were much smoother, and the halts themselves were pretty square. I think this was the ride where we really started to get used to each other and figure out how to communicate, which is always a great feeling. I got a helpful tip from an observant friend about something to work on in my riding, which was helpful since I’m so used to being in lessons, but I certainly don’t want to get into any bad habits while I’m not regularly training with someone.
More updates (and pictures) to come!
… er, well, sort of. We read her tattoo and officially her name is *drumroll* Special Corwyn! However, I haven’t decided how I feel about that name. She’s a 2003 filly, completely unraced and I had a hell of a time reading that tattoo. But I found her and here she is.
Now about that name…
help my barn buddy Ashleen come up with a name for her new project mare! I still say Wyn or Wynnie but I think I should brainstorm some more.