October 31, 2014

A Sleep-on-it Dressage Lesson

I've never wanted a jump lesson more than I did last night.  I didn't even ask what seat to tack up in, I just threw on his jump bridle, and a grab strap (which she recommended last week and I've never used before) and jacked up my stirrups to 12...

...and every single pole, standard, and long forgotten pile of fake flowers had been moved out of the indoor because someone is getting married in there on Saturday.  Sigh.

(Side note: Of all of the more beautiful places on this property, and all of the places that are easier to walk than our deep, shifty indoor arena, why would you choose to get married there?!  Side note #2: I am totally betting Mr. Congeniality photobombs their wedding since his paddock is right next to the indoor.)


Scarfing down his dinner in a cooler after a very hard lesson.

We ended up having a Dressage lesson in which the entire time, we did an exercise in which we started with a really small circle (I think to get him bending and on my aids), and then leg yielded out onto a larger circle.

It was hard and not pretty.  I told my trainer, "This is one of those 'sleep on it' lessons for him, isn't it?"  She said yes.

We tied our objective of getting him to be more responsible for himself/me to do less work into this by first asking for the leg yield out on a circle with a light inside leg, then if he didn't respond, a couple of boots with the inside leg.  The whip was too much, even the leg got him skittering sideways immediately.  That's the nice thing about this pony: I never have to ask for more of anything more than once.

By the time we were doing it at the canter, I knew what I needed: a small, controlled gait from the very beginning, and remembering to keep my outside leg on him especially in the small circle.  The 10m circle at the canter felt like this at first:

And I'm not going to say it got much prettier, but he did learn from it.  Once, going to the left at the canter, I felt him really bend his body, comfortably make that 10m circle, and then did the best leg yield out we got all night.  I felt him go "Oh, I CAN turn that small!"  Every single one before that and every single one after that was just okay, but that's okay.

Afterward we tried on his new grooming halter, a gift from my mom's childhood best friend, the girl who would scrounge for riding lesson pennies right along with her and then beg for a ride to the barn with her, my "Aunt Dawn":
I have never had a grooming halter before, but I can see it being really nice for trimming the goat beard!  Although he did shake it off one ear within 30 seconds of me putting it on...hmm...

Aunt Dawn and Connor at Fox River Valley

And then he got his 200g liner put under his sheet, because it's supposed to be a low of 27 with SNOW tonight!  What the heck!


  1. Weather - it's crazy. Wore my winter jacket, wool hat and mittens on the way to work this morning.

    1. Totally! Gotta remember to overdress rather than underdress this time of year.

  2. 10m circles are Guinness' life right now. He lives in them. Tell Connor to call him, and they can bitch about their crazy riders demanding "bend" and "flexion" and "forward". :)

  3. that exercise sounds hard... hope he comes out with a better understand of it next time! for whatever reason i have a really hard time keeping my outside aids ON when doing that type of stuff... lol anyways stay warm!

  4. Dressage is hard stuff! Poor Connor, having to work for a living... ;)

  5. Ugh. I want a grooming halter. But yeah, they have to fit right and even then they are for grooming, not "everything else".