January 30, 2018

Applying What I Learned on T

On Sunday I had my first ride in 10 days (although Connor had been ridden by my trainer a lot while I was gone).  Armed with the new knowledge I gained from riding Taran the previous weekend, I was really looking forward to it.

Ah, that point in the year when my horse starts looking positively Thelwellian since it's too cold to pull his mane.

My goals for Connor this ride were to:
  • Get an immediate response when I asked for anything - leg yield being the obvious choice since I developed a feel for that response on Taran
  • Maintain the right level of impulsion - also something I felt on T

My goals for myself this ride were to:
  • Keep my left leg "forward" and my right leg in contact with his body (things my trainer has been on me about that were VERY easy to see in the mirrors on T)
  • Only use my right hand to "squeeze a tack sponge" (Thanks, JenJ)
  • Keep my torso forward/through my arms (pretty obvious to see what a big different that made on T)
  • Sit on my right seatbone going to the left (On T, I sat normally, and I couldn't ride him in a straight line - until I realized I was sitting completely to the left and that I do that all the time)
  • Ask him to work from the moment I got on him (lunge before for warmup)
  • Relax.  There was a moment where I "stopped trying" so hard on T, and he got so much better immediately.


We had an absolutely fantastic ride that lasted 30 minutes, and he was really engaged from the start.  He expected to lollygag around a bit at the beginning (bad me for setting that precedent) and was surprised when I became "fair but mean" and set him straight to work.

The only thing I had an issue with was some inside hind engagement, but I worked through that pretty quickly with timing the use of my aids better. For the most part, I managed to keep my "to do list" above in my mind, although the hardest one is going to be torso positioning.  That will be a long term goal.

"It's a cruel, cruel world."

I think that ride on T happened at just the right time in my riding awareness and education, really looking forward to getting some consistent rides in!


  1. Your poor, poor pony. How sad. Glad your ride on T helped so much!

  2. I love when I get the perfect kick-in-the-proverbial-pants to help jump-start my riding in a better direction. It sounds like that ride on Taran was exactly what you needed! Sorry, Connor, haha. I'm excited to see where you two go this year.

    1. Thanks! That's exactly what it was. Now if only my job was letting me ride right now...

  3. It's always fun when you can learn and apply things from another horse!

  4. I love when riding other horses can make drastic changes for us. :-)