April 11, 2013

Ribcage Control

Did somebody order a Baskir Curly?

I gave Connor three days off to just be a horse after he lived in a stall for four days at the Horse Fair, and he, uh, apparently took advantage of it by hanging out in the rain and rolling in the mud today.  Feral, I tell you.  My trainer walked by after I pulled him out of his paddock and shook her head and said, "Oh, Connor..."

 So after that got a quick hose down and curry to remove the mud, we settled into a nice Dressage lesson that was supposed to be a jump lesson but I didn't know that and tacked up in Dressage tack.  Oops.  The theme of today's lesson was 'ribcage control'.  Most of the lesson was spent on 10m or smaller circles punctuated by shoulder-in on the rail, with me trying to keep my inside leg at the girth and asking in time with the inside hind to move it over, my inside rein asking for the bend/guiding the shoulder around and then giving but not pulling back, my outside rein telling him where not to go, and my outside leg back a bit to keep his hindquarters in line.  Whew.  It reads as difficult as it felt, until I tucked my hips underneath me and Connor sat back and got adjustable and it all fell into place.

At two times in the beginning, I know he was thinking "this is so hard!" because he offered a couple strides of canter on the circle to dig himself out, and I had to bring him back and remind him that if he listened to my aids, it became easier and he was perfectly capable of what I was asking.  It was one of those exercises that proves that the way he goes is completely dependent on the way I ride, because when I got it, it was perfect, and when I didn't, the circle was so small that his actions told all of my sins.

We'll have a few more practice rides like that this weekend to cement that level of lightness and adjustability, then a jump lesson next week the night before we leave for our first CT ever - and both Connor and I's first time showing over fences.  Can't wait!


  1. Must feel good to roll in the mud? Good thing we love them!

  2. Are you guys going to Heartland then?

  3. Muddy pony! He really does look like a curly pony.