Saturday, December 31, 2011

Riding with Tracey

One of the other boarders and I both rode today. She was trying out an English saddle she'd just gotten (she's ridden Western for years) and I was just toodling around with Kieran. :)

I think my position has improved light years from what it used to be.

I didn't expect him to actually jump this but I think I managed to get properly out of his way.

Good pony!

Yes, we briefly switched horses :)

Canter departure

Hopping over the crossrail. Ignore us dorking out about it afterward, LOL.

Longer video, just riding around. There's a nice canter departure at about 2:33

Sunday, December 18, 2011

It's like he's a different horse!

It's just the past couple of lessons....Kieran's been really forward and happy about working. He's always been fairly agreeable, but sometimes it could be grudging. He'd trudge around and I'd coax a nice trot or canter out of him but lately it's just been... I mount up and we walk off from the mounting block with a nice forward walk and even later in the lesson when we have walk breaks he doesn't drop back into the trudge mode. I ask for trots and canters and he gives me nice transitions and moves out and I don't have to spend the whole time pushing forward. Sometimes I even have to ask him to come back a little. It's exciting! :)

Anyway, that's been the big goal we've been working on. Give Kieran A Work Ethic. And now he's actually interested in what we're doing and ready to really learn so we can start doing fun stuff.

Not only that, but I feel like I'm more "with" him than I ever used to be. Like we're on the same wavelength now more times than not, instead of slightly out of sync. And I actually feel like that whole "independent seat" thing is developing and like I can really follow with my body and not feel like I have to hold on for dear life with my hands because my body can't do it.

I'm just really excited about where we're going and I'm glad I found Jessica to help us get there. :)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Foward, Straight, don't stop!

So today we pretty much worked on keeping Kieran moving forward and in a straight line, without letting him get bored. Once he decides something is boring, he stops paying attention and we get him just stumbling over trot poles or tripping over himself or drifting around the ring. Mostly that means I have to not zone out because when I do, he does.

Anyway, we started the lesson and Kieran was ready to go. I asked him to trot, he wanted to canter, when I finally let him canter, he gave a happy "whee!" kick. I guess it was the drop in the temperature but it was like riding a different horse! LOL.

That said, even when he was frisky, I felt like I was right there with him the whole time, instead of slightly out of sync like I used to feel sometimes.

Today, Jessica had set up a set of four trot poles at E and two crossrails (one over by B, one at X). One of the crossrails was really open and inviting, the other was set up on two barrels laying on the ground so it was a bit more "solid" looking. We started with the open crossrail and she just wanted us to get a forward trot going and for me to point Kieran at the fence and allow him to go forward. She was like, "I don't care what your position over this looks like, you can follow him well enough over a fence this small that you can just grab mane and go, what we want is for him to just come straight at the fence with a steady, forward rhythm, and not to stop after the fence." So we just worked on that and then about the third or fourth time instead of just trotting over, he kind of hopped over and cantered away nicely. He got lots of praise and pats and a long walk break for that.

Then we went and did the more "solid-looking" crossrail. And after the long walk break, she had us start by cantering around the ring to get him forward again, then when we came around the turn to the fence, to come back to a trot with the idea that he'd stay forward.

Well...he didn't, really. I think that confused him, "slow down, wait, keep moving out? Why'd I slow down, then?" So we went back to just trotting and pushing him forward and that one we got him to hop over it and canter out a stride so that was really good too.

A lot of my lessons lately have been about working on me, this lesson was pretty much all about teaching Kieran something. :)

Saturday, December 3, 2011


New saddle is definitely too wide. Like, when I sat in it it plopped right down onto his withers with no clearance too wide.

That said, it felt really nice when I sat in it and a bit like keeping my leg under me would be effortless. It just fell into the right spot. So I need this saddle but narrower!

Saddle on left is the one I'm trying out, saddle on right is my current saddle.

Look at that leg!