Waving the White Flag, Adult Ammie Style

Connor and I have had a lot of time for introspection while my trainer has been gone, and we've made progress.

He's showing you that his fly bonnet (which he wore because it was windy) and saddle pad do not match.

My trainer asked me to not let him go on the forehand at all starting from our warmup, so I have obliged and progress has been made.  The left bend funkiness is also getting better, though miles from solved.

In my last lesson before she left, which I haven't written about, we got some great self-carriage out of him, and also had moments of complete failure, especially to the left.  Every time I got self-carriage to the left, it was when he popped his ribcage to the inside and slightly counterbent.  He also struggles to get the right shoulder around and do shoulder fore to the left, which I attribute to not being engaged enough in the left hind.

But he looks FANTASTIC right now, so there's that.  Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm.

The hardest thing is that he's like riding a gumby horse.  I was struck when I rode Paddy and Brego (the only other horses I've ridden lately) how novel it felt to have every foot go in the same, logical direction.  They just felt so solid.  Connor, millisecond by millisecond and footfall by footfall, sends his body parts in every direction - especially in these exercises lately.

I was telling my British teammate this tonight, who is also working on the same stuff with her Arabian, said, "You've got a pony, that's how riding a pony feels!  Get something bigger!  Although you do fit each other really well..."
Coming up to say hello as I pull up.

So I decided (on my own, then consulted trainer) that I am going to put him in partial training for the month of April.  I am waving the white adult ammie flag!  I have had her ride him from time to time, but never consistently before.  He needs someone with a better reaction time than I have to teach these concepts to him.  I can't give him what he needs here until he has a better understanding of it himself.

This is the definition of a plateau, and we need pushed over the edge.

As good of a trainer of people as she is, she's an even better horse trainer, so it's silly to bang my head against this wall over and over when she's so accessible and I (mostly) have the money to use her.  She'll both teach him what he needs to know, and get a more intimate knowledge of how he's going right now so she can use that to teach me.

Right now the thinking is that she'll ride twice a week and I'll ride in my lesson, with either another ride or a lunge also.

Here goes nothing!

19 comments:

  1. For the first time in 14 years I had Mollie in "training" this winter. Holy amazeballs, I cannot get over the difference. I think you'll be very please with the difference you see in Connor! Sometimes it's hard as AA's to ask for help, because at least I get so caught up in doing things myself, but training rides were exactly what Mollie and I needed.

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  2. I know sometimes it's tough to let someone else take over... but what a great opportunity to have someone you respect and trust take Connor to the next level! You guys are going to do great things. :)

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  3. I'm in the same boat. Sometimes you just have to give the pros a chance to help out! I'm sure Connor will learn a lot in the next few weeks!!

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  4. It's totally ok to do that, so don't beat yourself up on it. It's super hard when you're learning together. Hopefully some magic trainer dust will really help you both!

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  5. I don't think it's a pony thing (the wiggliness, for lack of a better word), it's a baby horse thing in general. I've found my cobs are the worst at it because they're overachievers and constantly thinking and looking for your feedback and it's so easy to get sucked into the constant discussion! My other horses have always been more "OK, I get this now, I know my job, I will take you point A to B on a straight line from now on unless you say otherwise" My two cobs are like "Ohhh, that was easy, I get it, now how do we make it more interesting, what if I lead with my shoulder, how bout we divert to C?" lol

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  6. I think that seems logical and wise of you.

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  7. Sounds like a good plan, and good for you for not being afraid to seek help!

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  8. I've been considering exactly the same thing but because of where we are right now my coach wants me to wait a few months. I will be thinking about this in the future though so it's good to hear that I'm not alone!

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  9. AMMY FLAG FTW

    Good call. I'm pretending I have the finances to do something similar this coming month, I think. Courage and I are muddling a long, but a few pro rides can do wonders with a horse on a plateau.

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  10. No shame in that game! I'd love to watch her work with him. I so rarely get to see the behind the scenes magic.

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  11. Love love love having training rides. I bet you will be very happy with your decision!

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  12. Go for it! I can't imagine that it won't be a great learning experience for you both. Can't wait to see how he progresses!

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  13. As someone with a wiggly baby I am a HUGE supporter of pro/ training rides! They have helped "finish" my mare as I don't *quite* have the finesse- haha- and it has made a substantial difference in our compatibility. Good luck!

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  14. Sounds like a great plan. It not only helps the horse, but I find I learn a lot about my riding and my horse by watching others go on her.

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  15. Fab plan, am I weird in that I've always loved watching better jockeys than me ride my horses so that I can see how well they can go when they don't have an inept rider like moi on board! (Only speaking for myself here - no one else is as inept as i! FACT)

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  16. I always wished I had the opportunity for my trainer to ride. Sadly her injury put her out of riding.

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  17. good luck and i hope it works out!! i was really excited to have my biomechanics trainer do a training ride on my mare for exactly the reasons you state... but we sadly had to pull out of the lesson... boo :(

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  18. That will be fun for you and probably not fun for Connor hahah but hope things improve, sounds like an awesome plan.

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