March 18, 2015


Tonight was another bonus lesson, since my trainer out of town next week.  It started out well (sarcasm) when I asked for the left lead canter in warmup and Connor bucked and took off with me.

Worried pony.

And when I say 'took off with' I mean Welsh Cob style, where he bolts off, but you never feel unsafe.  Maybe the new boarder riding in the ring with me felt unsafe (sorry about that...) but I pulled him up pretty fast.  Still, exciting.

Much of my lesson today was spent working on left bend at the walk and trot.  I'll spare you the gory details, but this is what we found:

- My left leg never stays by the girth, so instead of it bending his ribcage out, it pushes his hindquarters out.
- My right leg is too good at staying by the girth, and to the left, it needs to be (what feels like but isn't actually) up by his flank in order to encourage his hindquarters not to go out.
- Stop making useless half halts.
- Stop pulling back on the reins for any reason whatsoever.

New girth!  (Since I didn't own a Dressage girth)  Review coming soon.

She is getting such good work out of him, and I'm trying so hard to internalize all of this, but it's still a little frustrating to still  I want to be able to get that type of work out of him all the time, not just halfway through a lesson with her.  Time to buckle down on myself.


  1. I get yelled at all the time for 'unhelpful' half halts....either I need to half halt or let go of her face. It's hard. Whenever I have an iffy lesson I try to think of it as a challenge for the next time the trainer sees me. :)

  2. it does sound like an excellent lesson :-)

  3. Hahahaha... I get yelled at for using my fingers/hands/wrists FOR ANYTHING, especially those "useless half-halts". You are not alone, I promise!

    We need a support group or something.

  4. you'll get there before you know it, the half halt lesson is SO important. they must mean something or they are pointless. Keep thinking positive, because you are doing great :)

  5. Changing your position and getting rid of old habits is hard and takes time! Don't worry, you'll get there

  6. Riding is such a pendulum. It goes from "use your half halts... Half halt now! And now!" To "why are you half halting?" And back again.

    Sounds like you're learning some crazy awesome stuff.

  7. i totally know what you mean about being frustrated trying to translate lessons to solo schooling... esp when i know i can ride so much better (if only someone would just tell me what to do every single step haha)... good luck tho!

    and re: half halts, a trainer once told me to count out loud every time i half halted. it wasn't about getting to a certain number or anything - but more about actually asking myself, am i half halting right now? did it make a difference? does it 'count'? seemed helpful!

  8. Habits are so hard to remould, you are making great progress and the fact you can nitpick on such things is a testament to how far you have come with your lovely lad