Training Rides

It sometimes surprises me just how strongly some people feel about training rides. I’m not one of those people who thinks that just because someone else got on my horse for a few rides it means that I didn’t bring him up myself. I think having a professional on your horse once in a while (or more than once in a while if you can afford it) is super valuable. Especially if you’re an ammy like me. Not only does it give my horse a nice little tune up, it helps get him through concepts that I’m struggling with.

So anyway, new trainer wanted to hop on Gus for a few minutes this weekend and I said, why don’t you just ride him on Sunday? Thankfully she said yes.

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He was a little bit of a pissant when she got on because he was annoyed about the flash (we won’t mention that it was so loose that it really wasn’t even there…) and the fact that he had not been allowed to go out with his friends since he was also shod that morning. Both are things that I expect him to work with. I don’t normally ride in a flash for dressage but if I do, I don’t want a tantrum.

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But new trainer soon had him moving forward lightly in the contact and looking like a dressage horse. For the most part. He was extremely reactive to her spurs, using them as excuses get out of hard work but she just pushed him through it.

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It was great for me to be there and see her thought process while she worked him. I’m impressed enough with people who can ride the ride and get results. I’m equally impressed enough with people who can explain to you what should be going on. So I’m doubly impressed that new trainer could do both at the same time.

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The big thing that she stressed with me is that there are certain concepts, for example, accepting contact in the reins, that need to be a hard line in the sand. When he goes into giraffe mode, I need to immediately correct with my inside leg, seat bone, and rein. This is not a concept that is new to him so we (aka, me) are going to expect that of him.

He’s so bad with this that new trainer actually wants me to find time when I can just work on taking him from a loose on the buckle rein to connection over and over and over again. Basically for as long as it takes for Gus to get the message that starting work does not mean he tosses his head in the air.
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By the end, Gus was looking like a real dressage horse. Okay, it was actually much more towards the beginning the end of the ride, but whatevs. I also felt like I got a lot out of it and will be able to use some of her exercises myself once I get back on. These next few weeks will be really rough for me so new trainer will be hoping on Gus again on Wednesday. Hopefully he gets another productive ride!

Training Ride

What a gorgeous day it was today! And even better I had a PTO day. My company has a use it or lose it policy when it comes to PTO and since I had eight more hours that weren’t already scheduled I had to find a day to use it. Today ended up being the best option. 

So, to enjoy my day off, I went to watch JLE work Dandy. I got there right as her working student was pulling Dandy out of his pasture and was shocked to see Dandy being an asshole. He jerked back from her and tried to go up when she wouldn’t let him take off. He than jigged the whole way up to the barn. Apparently this is how he acts now. Um. He has NEVER done that for me (unless I did something stupid like try to make him walk through a too tight space). She seemed to handle him well, I couldn’t find anything that was causing him to act goofy but I honestly don’t understand how we went from polite to nasty when being taken out of his pasture. And it’s been a long time since I’ve had to do that so I didn’t even know something was happening. I’m going to have to see if I can get over during the day and try taking him out myself. See if there’s something I’m doing that maybe they’re not? I don’t know. I’m going to have to keep my eye on this because that’s unacceptable behavior in my book. 

Anyway, Dandy and JLE had a good ride though I did get to see his newest evasion technique: use the excuse of another horse in the arena to freak out about the contact. He was trying to do that with me last Friday during my lesson but we worked through it. If Dandy spent even just half of the energy he put into evading contact into being a good horse he’d probably being doing second level work now. Ugh. 

Now I’m hanging out with my puppies, and making one of my favorite meals: Chicken in Thai Red Curry sauce. Usually I have it with brown rice but since I recently discovered how much I love quinoa I’m going to try it with that tonight.  

Job

This has sort of been my week. Not only was Dandy fabulous over the weekend, I also finally found a job! I had the interview this morning and on my way out the hiring manager told me she wanted to move forward with this. Now, it’s a temp to hire job so it’s still not perfect but I totally have faith that this is a great fit for me and that they’re going to love the work I do. So score!

Dandy has been having training rides all this week and I hear he is doing fabulous. I can’t wait to get back on him this weekend.

Catching Up Again

So it’s been a week. I’ve been very bad with my updating. To be honest, I went through some frustrating days where I just wasn’t feeling at all happy or inspired with anything. First of all, I’m having a horrid time finding a good barn to even go look at in Seattle since every place I call is either full or way out of my price range. But that doesn’t really matter since my planned trip out there next week got thrown out the window. I’ve decided that I’m not going to worry about finding a place for Dandy until I can actually be up there. Unfortunately that means that Dandy is going to be here through April. Oh well, such is life! In a month I’m going to move him to my jump trainer’s so that he can at least keep jumping while I’m gone. She wants to take him to a big hunter/jumper show… we’ll see 😉

To catch you all up on what has been going on:

Last Tuesday we did our second day of free jumping. Dandy did great again though we had some issues that kept us from going to much higher, *coughGuinnesscough*. He did get all the way up to four feet but since we had had to step back half way through we didn’t push him and left it at that.

I have noticed that Dandy is jumping a lot more confident since we’ve done the free jumping. Not that he wasn’t confident before but this is a whole new level. He is really picking up his withers and jumping nice. Mostly!

Thursday I had a GREAT jumping lesson. We worked on stringing a one stride and a two stride together and Dandy and I really did well. Madchen was going to raise it one higher but my legs were shaking (first time I had ridden in a week) so I asked to be done.

I know the video is blurry, but I promise that’s me!

I also got to “ride” Madchen’s new horse who is an ex-olympian! He’s 19 hands and a dinosaur but a sweetheart. If I knew how to spell his name I would share it with you so that you could all go look him up being awesome over the 1.50 m.

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Unfortunately I got sick over the weekend so I didn’t get my hack in like I wanted but oh well.

Then we come to today. Oh today. Dandy was a nutso. Spooking at nothing, locking on to jumps that are not even in our path. Just being a dodo. I managed to work through it at the walk and trot but when he started being a jerk at the canter I said, nope! don’t want to get bucked off today. He was hopping and definitely thinking about it but luckily he didn’t do anything. So Madchen got on and jumped him. He was WILD.

Angry  Thoroughbred
Angry Thoroughbred
How Not to Jump
How Not to Jump

Guess it was just one of those days.

It’s kind of impressive how far out he can throw those front legs! I’d prefer for him to snap them up and pad the ground but it was not to be today. I still love him.

Dressage Pony

My trainer just posted this picture to FB

He says “Mom and dad its hard being a dressage pony you have to get all sweaty.”

Hehe, I love my goofy pony. And my trainer for sending me the picture after his training ride. It’s going to be so so so hard to leave Sheridan. I should do a whole post on why I love that place. #1046: they tossed extra hay to the pasture horses last night since it was going to be so cold (or at least it appeared that they did since they still had huge piles left when I went out to feed grain at 7 pm). Not many places I’ve been would do something like that but they really care about the well being of the animals.