Sunday, February 24, 2013

Split Focus

Just wanted to put this up here...I get that look from him a lot, with the ears. One on me, one on what's coming ahead. I wish I could split my focus like that, LOL. I'm still at the stage where if I start thinking what to do with some part of my body, something else falls apart!

Hip to be Square

Had a good lesson today. Mostly flatwork, though we popped over the crossrails I'd left in the corner a couple of times as a reward for Kieran so he could so something 'fun' when he'd been good.

The idea today was working on square halts and kind of pushing Kieran into the bridle. Lots of trot->halt->trot transitions, some trotting circles (spiraling ones and regular 20 meter circles), a bit of work over ground poles, and some cantering. Kieran stayed happy and quite cooperative throughout the whole ride though it was funny at one point, we had a long walk break because I got caught up in talking with Jessica about a new horse she'd got and then when I went to trot again, you could tell Kieran was like FINALLY we can do some WORK. I was so BORED. :)

Anyway, a bunch of videos below of most of what we worked on.

Worked on trotting around the 'ring' and halting on every side and tried to get a square halt. I love how on the last one here he's kind of like, "okay, what do I do with this foot???"

Had a nice canter around the ring since he really wanted to go and he'd done good work so let him do something he wanted to do.

Did some trotting spiraling circles.

Trotted over the extended trot poles, then picked up a canter for the canter poles, then came around and gave Jessica a heart attack, oops.

Did some cantering around a circle.

Went around the other way.

Sitting trot, 20 meters.

Gave him the reins and let him stretch out at the trot.

Finally ended with doing the poles on the side again (extended trot to canter) and then around the ring to the crossrails, then halting at the gate. See how he tucks his rear under him to halt? I figure that's pretty damn amazing progress from where we started. :)

And we ended on a very good note. :)

Monday, February 18, 2013


Attempted to joust today. Sort of. Have been wanting to do it for a while but haven't found a suitable "lance" yet that I could feel okay riding around with and not worrying about impaling us on. Saw a pretty long mailing tube in the tack room that had been tossed. Figured it might work. Taped a bucket's handle so it would stay up. Used the space between the arena and the pasture as our chute, propped the bucket up on the fence post, and did a walk.

Because I realized as I was holding the mailing tube that Kieran was going, "wtf woman what are you doing?" so we mostly walked and I waved it all around till he figured out it wasn't going to smack him in the head. And tried to figure out how to hold my reins and the tube. Realized that it's really just a bit too wide to be practical so considering a smaller-diameter (and also longer) pvc pipe instead. Did manage to spear the bucket once (at a walk) and did ride up the 'chute' at a trot and holding out the tube just to show Kieran it was okay. Pretty sure he thinks I'm crazy now.

Also had a short ride in the ring.

Not real exciting, this was while we were warming up, but my point is...I lengthened my stirrups by a half hole and suddenly all the work I'd been doing to get my leg back and my heels down became about 10x easier.

Hopped over a couple of crossrails

And caught Kieran playing with his feed tub after all. :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013


So I missed out on the gorgeous weather of Friday to do any riding due to a serious headache that had me curling up in the dark under covers. And then yesterday it was raining and icky. But today, though chilly and windy....was nice and sunny. So I went down to the farm to use the 'dressage' arena I had put together last Sunday out of jump standards, traffic cones, and 49 cent letter stickers from Tractor Supply. Oh, and some of the landscape timbers we use as jump poles. I could not for the life of me to get B and E to properly line up on their respective vertical lines and I gave up. I apparently can't see straight lines or something, I don't even know. Anyway, it ended up being approximately 20 meters by 40 meters so that was fine. I also was careful to leave some room around the whole thing so none of it was directly next to the fence so we didn't have that to lean on.

Today I just set my camera on a post that had a pretty wide view of almost the whole thing (though it occurs to me now I might have done better putting it closer to A but oh well, maybe next time if I'm not able to get a lesson tomorrow) and just let it take video as I rode. Pictures below are screencaps from that and then the videos were a couple I cut out of the big video to show so you're not having to watch the whole thing.

After warming up, we did some trotting circles (I'm proud to say our circles are way better than what they once were) and a lot of figures, going across the diagonal, up from K to E and across to B then up to M and around to create a big figure 8 basically. Some cantering all the way around the ring, then a bit of 20 meter circles cantering too (and let me tell you how amazing that is, I once was convinced we'd never be able to do that).

Did some nice trotting where I let the reins out for him to stretch and also a tiny bit of riding without stirrups at the trot. Finally, just before I cooled him out, I let him really stretch out at the canter and go, because the whole time he'd really been asking me to let him go more.!

Nice square halt from a trot.

He looks like he's using himself well at this trot, huh?

You wanted an uphill canter, right?

Extended canter at the end.

Coming over to turn off the camera.

What's this? Can I eat it?

And the closest I've gotten to a confo shot in a while.


Basically what the title says, trotting 20 meter circles.

Cantering around the arena to the right, then turning around and going to the left and after he relaxes a bit instead of being all strong on me, we do a canter circle. :)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

All the jumping

Yesterday was a lesson-day and we spent it doing 'courses' and slowly raising up jumps again. By the time we finished, we did so with a 2'9" jump so that was pretty cool. Kieran was on it all day, just really ready to go. I'm glad he's enjoying his job. :)

We also encountered a "scary" jump, one of the lattices, but I wove dollar store flower garlands into it. He didn't care, LOL.

No pictures because I forgot my camera, but I have a few from today.

Jessica just trailered over one of her horses she's working with and had a 'fun' day using the same jumps we did yesterday but a bit lower because her horse isn't working that high yet. Anyway, here's a few screencaps.

I know it's tiny, but I just love how he looks here. He's offering me this more and more now instead of the old strung out on the forehand canter he used to have.

Scary flowers!

Happy pony.

He's so pretty. :)

Good boy! Let's cool out now. :)