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Lesson Notes

February 19, 2013

Warm weather is right around the corner, which means shows, clinics, and other riding opportunities I should take advantage of. Which means I should probably ride. And ride better, with purpose. Which means I should probably me a smart rider and take notes on my rides. So…

  • Rode Pony yesterday
  • Her groundwork is great. Stops, backs, drops head, and picks feet on very slight cues.
  • Feeding new supplement and biotin. Hoping she’ll grow actual horse-sized feet. Or that, at the least, her pony-sized feet will be stronger.
  • I’m pretty sure BM isn’t feeding her enough. She’s always hungry. This is a tricky situation since BM is also my landlord.
  • After 15 years of riding, I finally GET lunging. Lunge whip acts as a leg. Duh! Can’t say how many trainers have told me that, and how many times I’ve nodded my head along in fake understanding. But it finally sunk in and clicked! From the ground I can now change speeds within the gait, direct, and get smooth transitions. Yay. Going to the right she’s still a grumpy pants–ears back and nose poked.
  • Still need to find the source of her grumpiness. Various pros think that’s habituated to the behavior now, and is still defensive from too-early, too-intense training as youngster. The fact that she exhibits the behavior when I’m out of the saddle means I’m not the problem, at least not the sole problem. Pain has been ruled out, but I want to be 100% positive. I’ve made the mistake of thinking a hurting horse was a misbehaving horse, and I still feel like crap about it years later. Her tack fits and her teeth were just done, so doubt those are the culprits. Need to call out chiro, farrier, and get a lameness check done. Wallet is sad.
  • Pony collects at the slightest touch 🙂 For about one stride 😦
  • We’re getting to be pros at backing up 🙂
  • We went on our first trail ride alone. Pony was very brave, as per usual, especially since it was so windy. We only made it 1/4  mile or so, but I didn’t want to test her limits our first time out.
  • I need to shoe her or buy her boots.
  • Tried schooling in the pasture surrounding her barn, but it was pointless. Imagine trying to study while there’s a massive slice of chocolate cake in front of you. You could probably resist eating the cake, but you’re sure as hell going to be distracted by it. That’s how pony was. Distracted. Constantly pulling towards her stall and friends. And I could have tried to work through it, but I don’t think anything I did would be enough to keep her mind off the cake directly in front of her.
  • Times like that make me reaaallllly frustrated. Not with pony, but with myself. She’s so sensitive and willing that I’m certain my inexperienced, uninformed actions are going to ruin her. I don’t know where the sweet spot between going too easy and asking too much is. I always feel as if I’m either not asking enough or pushing her too hard.
  • Burnout + no real schooling area means I should probably focus on fun rides for the next month or so. Just trail rides.
  • Need to start scoping barns…
  • Need to buy a trailer…
  • Trainer is hosting a series of versatility clinics, with a competition at the end of the series.Yes! Must do!
  • Need to drink coffee before writing blog posts so they aren’t just incoherent, poorly-spelled, bullet point rambles…
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