March 30, 2021

Amateur Hour: Connor the Lesson Pony (Again!)

Last weekend we had another "Amateur Hour" at the barn, and this time the BO's daughter got to join in on the fun, the one who designed the barn as her high school senior project(!). She's moved to Florida to be with her water skiing instructor husband (tough job to have in Indiana, you know), but she still deeply loves the barn, and I miss her dearly, she's just an all around awesome person.


She came out and was like "I'm just here to watch, I couldn't even fit half chaps in my carry on!" and I was like "Oh no you're not, you're getting a jump lesson on Connor!". Her background is almost entirely Western Pleasure, except after my trainer's program moved in she fell in love with Dressage, and she's been taking weekly lessons on a 28 year old 4th level schoolmaster in Florida for a couple years now. She's a "game for anything" kind of person so I knew she'd take me up on it.

"Oh my gosh, he's wearing three different colors of sparkles," she said. I was like, "You came from Western Pleasure world, AND?"  😂

I warmed her up on the flat, telling her not to be shy about taking up contact and asking for stuff. I find it increasingly easy to instruct people on how to ride him after his full training adventure, and I'm tickled when my advice actually makes him go well for people who have never ridden him before.

I wasn't THAT mean about her not having half chaps - I gave her my MDC irons that keep the stirrup leather off your leg, which worked out surprisingly well. She was sore, but not bruised!

Connor was in a polite but low-energy mood for most of this ride, which I didn't object to since a stranger fairly new to jumping would be popping him over stuff. No need to light a fire under his butt for that.

Once they were warmed up, Mary took over teaching the lesson, first starting with a discussion of the physics of the two point while standing, then starting her over poles at the trot, then the canter, then finally she put the first element up to an X. And he was THE BEST LESSON PONY. Mary turned around to me after this GIF ends and was like "JEN! He is totally taking care of her! Who is this pony, cantering politely out of the line like this?! He's being like a foot perfect lesson pony for her!"

Mary: "He is being on his best behavior for you, normally he wouldn't canter out of a line like this."

By the end, they rocked a tiny vertical, Connor still just being perfect for her (and a little more forward and awake!)

The BO's daughter, for her part, absolutely fell in love with him. She kept saying things like "He's so handy! He makes the Warmblood I ride feel slow and heavy," and "I feel like I could do anything on him." She's being pushed by her trainer to start horse shopping, and she was seriously asking me questions by the end of the ride about buying a Cob. We have another convert, my life's mission! #yougetaCob #andyougetaCob

Another barnmate joined in the lesson again, and her horse was being a bit of a butthead about stopping in a straight line after fences, so Mary got on and put the fear of Jesus into him. "She can really ride," the BO's daughter said almost reverently. I was like "I know, everything she sits on improves."

First attempt - he was SO convinced he knew better than she did about going around the corner after the line.

Last attempt - "Yes ma'am"

After that we hung out for wine, cheese, fresh bread, and watching Mary's husband and Annie ride Zippy together. Love these warm spring days!


  1. I thought everyone was getting a haffie? ;)

    Connor looks like the ULTIMATE pony in those gifs. What a star!!!

  2. I love this! What a good boy Connor! Ponies rule! I have a half cob, can I be in the club?

  3. What a good boy! What a fun afternoon: ammy lessons and wine & cheese!

  4. This dressage auntie needs to sit on a Welsh cob sometime! I ride Friesians, and I reckon these little beauties will be right up my alley. They look so wonderful <3