I hadn't ridden my horse yet this month. November has been kind of a perfect storm. It's getting cold, and both me and my horse just looooooooooove winter. It's getting to a busy time of year with my other extracurriculars (goodbye, saturdays). I wasted a couple of days where I could have gone to the farm waiting on someone else to call me back who I was supposed to meet up with (totally not their fault, they had an emergency come up). All of that adds up to waaaaaaay too long since I've actually ridden my horse.
I went to check her on Sunday, but some cold, wet snow lead to a cold, wet, shivering horse. I spent an hour and a half drying her off and moving her around to warm her up. I discovered that the cooler I own is slightly too big, but it's serviceable for drying and warming my naked woolly horse. Though it wasn't exactly what I'd intended to do that day, it was nice to see her and play a little with re-finding my groundwork buttons.
I also went to check Monday evening, but since I was a little short on time, and Monday was the coldest night of the week. I decided to be content knowing that she was warm and dry, and just ended up leaving after I saw that she was both.
I was not feeling the most encouraged re: me accomplishing anything. Then I went out this evening, caught my fuzzy horse (naked ponies are the fuzziest ponies), and brought her into the arena (the barn isn't heated). She wasn't really feeling this whole "standing still" and "ground tying" thing, and considering her recent mini-vacation, and the fact I was trying to situate her by the door, I didn't blame her. Have I ever mentioned how extremely gate oriented this horse was for the first year or so I had her? It was NOT fun when I was struggling to learn lunging in a round pen with a gate Jazz found simply irresistible. Either way, I gave her the benefit of the doubt, and decided to get moving before I tried to make her stand still. I was then reminded why I don't lunge first thing. Jazz was lazy and distracted, and kept wandering around. Granted, lunging is an important part of my groundwork arsenal, but it really shouldn't be my first line of defense. Jazz does much better if I start off with some leading, with lots of stops, backing, and yielding of hindquarters and shoulders to get her mind on me. If she's not listening, or pushing me around too much, I can always lunge before doing those types of exercises, but I like it better when I lunge second, if at all.
|Don't be mistaken, I can take equally awkward photos in show attire with ribbons, and in 8000 layers. |
P.s. look forward to a winter of photos in the indoor arena with its terrible lighting!
I hopped on bareback to a slightly naughty pony (no stirrups at all so far this November). She did NOT want to stop, or stand still as soon as I was on her back for that matter. I decided not to get sucked into it, and instead to work on forward until her mind came back a little. It turned out to be a good choice, because she sorted herself out and chilled without me really having to do much at all. I just had a nice chill ride, working on leg yielding (I will sharpen her to leg cues one way or another). I did some posting trot bareback (side note: yay!), but Jazz had lots more energy than I was willing to ride out (just because I can trot bareback now, doesn't mean its pleasant for extended periods of time).
I decided instead to do what I affectionately refer to as horse treadmill.
I trotted her in hand over the cavaletti a few times, and learned that my horse is WAY more fit than me. Jazz did her usual protocol of doing weird trotting in the front, jumping in the back mishmash the first time or two, then five or six nice jumps, then figuring out that its a little baby jump and suddenly its 'psshhhh I don't even need to pick up my feet its just a baby jump' and biiiig trot over it. Please enjoy this video evidence, and the super professional videography including finger on the lens for the first half.
P.S. my last post marked the 50th on this blog yay!