October 27, 2012

Lesson in the Field

Part of the grassy field today.
Oh wow, did we ever get our groove back today!  My trainer held our lesson in the open grassy field, and it went in three parts:

Part 1: Moving laterally, when I ask, where I ask, without bowling through me and going more forward than sideways, or popping his shoulder out.  She pointed out that he was bullying me through these things, and that I needed to give strong half halts on the shoulder of the direction we're going, then an equally big release.  He is only allowed forward movement if he's light in the bridle.

Part 2: Sitting down in the trot and getting light in the bridle.  Step 1 of this is to obtain a forward trot, and step 2 is to half halt that forward trot to contain him and get him to rock back on his hocks and take the weight off his mouth and the bridle.  It was in this exercise that I had the first truly balanced, forward, light trot I've gotten out of him in months.  He felt incredible.

The track, with the barn and indoor
Part 3: Go fast!  She had us do canter in a two point in the open field, at times asking me to let him go as fast as I could.  She worked on getting me to bring him back without raising my hands - weird habit that came out of nowhere.

Through the whole lesson, he was just so joyful about everything.  He even threw a teeny tiny leap of joy (I'd call it a buck, but...) once or twice while we were trotting.  He felt good, and felt like my cocky, forward pony again.  We talked about keeping our lessons short, but intense (today was only just over a half hour long) so he never goes to exhaustion.  At the end, he had perfect "lipstick" foam around his mouth - not surprising, given that he was working over his back and connected through the whole lesson.

Afterwards, we hacked down the track again to cool him out, and I snapped these pictures:

Outdoor Dressage ring with the track in the background, which they were mowing as I was leaving.


  1. Sounds like fun. Those are the best lessons. I found with both Barry and Comrade that short sessions work well. You have a really good trainer to work with what your pony needs. Keep having fun.

  2. Your trainer sounds great - it seems like she's really helping you & Conor find your way again.

  3. And what a great day for a lesson - love sunny cool fall days...dreading the ice and snow.