Posted by: shannonc | September 28, 2010

Snaffle pony

Scene:  near Boston, MA.  Pouring rain.

Pony (enters stage right):  You gotta be kidding me.

Me (mounted and getting wet):  Hush and be good jumping your first time out of the monster bit.

Pony:  You want me to jump?  Let’s talk about seeing.

Me:  *ignoring diva pony* You remember what a half halt is, right?

Pony:  I can ignore you too.  Mwahahaha!!

*Beginning on course*

Pony:  Behold, the pony wiggleworm!

Instructor:  I said *straight*.

Pony:  What’s it worth to you?

Me:  *Grrr* *puts on more leg*

Instructor:  Every time he drifts, he changes the distance. 

Me:  Help me out here, pony?

Pony:  All right, all right already.  Don’t get your panties all in a twist.  

Me:  *forgetting the course*


Instructor:  Not that canter.  Shorten.  Shorten.  Make him shorten.

Pony:  *chips*

Instructor:  He wants to lengthen the whole way in.  You get backwards.  You have to be able to put your leg on.

Pony:  Excuse me?  Did someone say put leg on?  You people don’t think you torture me enough already??

Me:  Pony, do I have to give you the “you have a very good life” talk again?

Pony:  *drawing hoof across forehead* Woe is me!  Do you see these metal plates on my feet?  Let’s not even mention the NAILS!  Hasn’t this poor little pony made enough sacrifices for the cause?

Me:  Let me know when you’re done and we can canter.

Pony:  Okay.  *Powers off ground*

Me:  *getting left behind*

Instructor:  You DO know you’re getting him to the right distance, yes?

Me:  I see the distance, but I don’t think he’s going to leave the ground.

Pony:  Mom, you so need to get with the program.  I’m a STRONG pony now.  Well, sometimes.

Me:  Okay, here we go.

Pony:  *Giant spook on turn*

Me:  *losing a stirrup* Pony!!!

Pony:  Oops.  I was bored.

Instructor:  *reviewing course*  You need to sit on him in the canter.  That nice light seat?  It’s not going to make anything better right now.  Just riding that canter to the fence?  It assumes he has a consistent, good canter.  He doesn’t yet.  You have to help him.

Pony:  *dances*

Me:  Pony, do you have to pee?

Instructor:  He looks like he’s all done with being wet.

Me:  Pony, if you want your carrots, we do this one more time and we do it well.

Pony:  Oh, well, Miss High and Mighty – I will if you will!


We more or less nailed the last course.  Nailing for us right now, anyway.  Pony got several “whoa, he can jump!!”s.  We need more practice.  It’s a very different feeling and I’m trying to keep a lot of new things in my head at once right now that aren’t quite habit yet.  All in all, though, it’s not a bad problem to have.

The snaffle worked fine, although I had some thoughts on approach that I wish I could move it a little more in his mouth.  Just felt like he got a bit stuck.  I almost wanted the loose ring.  We may or may not have the same experience with it at an event, but we’ll go xc with this on Friday, and have the other bit on hand Sunday in the warmup, just in case.

If the weather doesn’t clear, we’ll have to play it by ear.  If he’s slipping, he’s not going out on course.  Just won’t help with his confidence.

I want to take as much time as we need to make him comfortable and happy, because he *can* jump.  He’s careful and clever.  But if I push him too fast, he will quit somewhere, probably earlier than he needs to.  He can do T, the question is…will he?

Cater to the diva it is.  Oh, my…

The aftermath. Yup, eventers are crazy!



  1. Oh dear you were wet!!!!! I am so glad that he is feeling better with his twinkle toes!!!!! YAY!

  2. Yeah, you two are a little nutty I think, but as long as you’re having fun, go for it and good luck!

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