Posted by: shannonc | October 23, 2009

Fall goings on

Blue stuff

Blue had his second lesson yesterday.  We rode in the outdoor ring this time, which sits in a busy bowl-like space with horses turned out across hills on two sides.  It’s big and unfenced, so I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to get from Blue, but he was businesslike and focused.  He obligingly showed off our improved, poll-higher trot work and his new agreeableness at putting in several balanced 20m canter circles to the right.  The left is still a bit ugly, but we did good homework in one week!

He also worked for a solid hour with no problem.  A little grinding when the work got harder, but he generally seemed pretty happy.  Our homework this time is more of the same, add side reins when longing, make the under saddle trot work harder so he doesn’t think all we do is drill the canter, go back to the plain snaffle, and put reins with stops on the bridle so I become more aware of how he talks me into slipping them.  He’s very clever – first he puts in a small pull or two and gets me a little tipped onto the front of my seat, then he times a bigger root/sprawl to gain himself more rein, and the canter falls apart as I’m left with my hands behind the saddle pad and following too much with my back in an effort to stay someplace near the middle.

The right canter had genuine jump in it yesterday though.  That made me pretty happy.  Next week we may try a little work with draw reins and see if that helps.  We’ll also start him with some haunches-in to keep expanding the toolbox and improving his suppleness and strength. 

Maybe we can get back here

Maybe we can get back here

For a very big stretch goal, we might aim for next year’s T3D.  Lots of questions will need to resolve in our favor for that to happen, but I always like having something to shoot for.

Pony stuff

Big pony newsflash!  While I was out with Blue yesterday I came across an opportunity to ride in an Eric Smiley clinic next week – one day flat/showjumping, one day xc.  I didn’t think I would be able to fit it into my schedule, and I wasn’t sure they’d take a greenie with just two BN under his belt, but it all worked out – and now I’m really excited!  The pony’s first clinic!

I have never ridden with Eric, but I have heard rave reviews, and also read that his philosophy pretty closely parallels Lucinda Green’s.  She is my all time favorite clinician, so I’m ready to have a good time!

Other fall pony activities include the Joy Congdon clinic, where we’ll hopefully get a good status review on our dressage work and some exercises to take us into winter with an eye toward progressing to the next level of training; the Myopia Hunter Pace, which is always a completely gorgeous country ride; and hopefully some time at the beach.  I would really like to take him on a hunt, but I don’t think I know any members right now who might extend an invitation.  I spent so much time traveling for work that my network isn’t the best, and I’m on the shy side anyway.  I have really enjoyed getting to know some new people, and reconnecting with others, this year, though.  What a change from 60 hours a week of work and weekly travel away from home.

All in all plenty to keep us busy.  Here’s hoping the weather cooperates for riding well into December this year.  And clears up prior to April!

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