September 30, 2020

Aeres to Jen: Ride Better, Dammit

Aeres and I continue to figure each other out. Her relationship with the contact is a tricky thing, but a lot of the problem is me - specifically that she's clearly used to a much more stable rider than I am. And I am super delighted to have a horse that expects more of my riding.

"HELLO RIDE BETTER PLZ" (I feel like I should mention that's sunlight in her mane and tail, not orange hair!)

Last night my only goal was to figure out how to get her to stretch down into the contact. There's a LOT of tension in this horse under saddle, and she does the usual Cob thing of carrying that tension in her underneck and back by default:

Tense tense tense

Okay, so how do I get her to stretch down into the contact? This is a fun situation for me, having to think through things that Connor does without thinking about it. I cannot screw this horse up, since she's destined for life as a broodmare (because of rare genetics, not because of any injuries or anything) unless someone wants to buy her (HINT HINT PEOPLE!!). So I have room to play and experiment.

What I figured out last night is that she wants stability. She wants my edges on her edges as Mary Wanless would say. She wants me to ride her straight and evenly. She wants supportive thighs and a strong core, but not in an over the top way. And she wants my freaking hands to be stable in the trot, something I thought I fixed last year but the video from last night (and my lesson with GP trainer last week) clearly proves that is not the case.

The Pivo was, uh, not level last night lol

So basically, this horse demands I fix all of the worst parts of my biomechanics or else she just won't do the thing. And she knows better than I do how to do the thing. Which is the best possible thing I could ask for in a temporary lease horse.


I just get more and more excited about her every time I ride. I am so lucky to have her!


  1. She seems like SUCH a neat horse to have!

  2. Wish you could keep her! Riding Ember shows my weak points that Roscoe hides for me. Definitely a chance for growth, the fun of different horses.

  3. This is why I think Shiny is welsh cob and not the hunter version of welsh pony. She loves to get tight through her back and underneck too. So we're working on the same thing. It's slow going, but I'm starting to see some improvement.

    I'm so excited you have Aeres, she sounds like a wonderful teacher.

  4. She is such a cool pony! So happy for you to get to learn and develop yourself with her, and with Connor in training! What an amazing opportunity!

  5. What a wonderful learning opportunity and a lovely little mare!

  6. I just love her! What an amazing opportunity for you. I so wish Indiana wasn't most of North America away from me :)

  7. She's a beauty and you guys look great together!

  8. Ahh...someone should totally buy her! But...rare genetics are also a good thing.

  9. Are we taking bets on you keeping her after Connor comes back? Asking for a friend... ;)

  10. Doesn't Mary need a horse, too? ;)

    I am riding a draft cross, who is new to ring work. I made a similar discovery regarding stability. I'm a lightweight and used to Harley (also a lightweight), so I had to start pretending that I weigh 200 lbs and can't be budged from my position. Like magic, he started going on the bit and now I need that imagery less and less. It's interesting and definitely fun to figure out what the horse needs to find his best self.