Skip to main content

Making Plans: Lesson Recap 9/27

So sorry for being such a bad blogger recently. I'm still trying to figure out my schedule and we are understaffed at work so there's no way that I have the time to blog from there. I've been riding consistently five days per week and doing a great job of sticking to my schedule. I'm especially proud this week since I got almost got derailed by a migraine on Wednesday and still managed to get five rides in! With those five rides, dates, and doing adult things like buying groceries and cooking food so that I don't have to eat out all the time I feel like I've got very little time. Now I just need to get a blogging schedule figured out around my riding :-)

The good news about all of this is that we are making real, actual, tangible progress.

For so long I've felt like we are on the struggle bus and yes, making some improvements such as that pony stopped rearing, but not much that was really visible to most people watching. It's part of why I haven't posted video because honestly it's just been making me feel fucking depressed.

(Pictures are good moments from the bad video)

I was feeling especially bad about myself after a crummy ride on Thursday where after Katai's extra day off and having stayed in all day due to rain she was stiff and just not wanting to move. Of course I'd chosen to video myself that day and so the resulting video made me feel like giving up.

For about two hours.

And then I moved on and really looked at what was happening on the video. I watched it through, cringing, but thought about what L would have been saying as I was riding if it were in a lesson and I realized that while I've been thinking I've "got" certain things down it's just that they've improved. They aren't actually to where I thought they were yet but I actually do have the tools to get us there.

With that analysis I went to the barn the next day and really RODE my horse. Every step I chose what we were doing and kept making instant, small, gentle corrections. Every time I felt her just barely beginning to get hollow I'd make a small correction and bring her back before we were at the head flinging in the air stage. I kept her bent, I kept her at the same speed, and I kept her back up and I had a sort of epiphany that when I'm always letting her change her balance she never is balanced and that makes her feel panicky and like racing around. If instead I'm more firm about her staying the same balance she can get comfortable there.

Part of this is that I was riding more this way about 6 months ago but I was doing it in a very strong, forceful way and that was pissing Katai off. She also didn't have the skills or strength to go there at that point so it was just making her more upset and defensive. In some ways I've actually needed to get to a point where I was riding less and letting her do more as she developed that strength for us to be able to get back here but we are definitely at a point where I should be riding more consciously now.

Today for my lesson I planned ahead and got to the barn with plenty of time. At one point I was trying to keep my warm up to a minimum because Katai was getting tired by the end of the lesson and I didn't want to push it even longer. Now though she is getting to a point where I can have her warmed up before my lesson and able to start right in on more difficult stuff. When L showed up she was really impressed and started off saying how amazing Katai looked. She let us go for a little while and then said that we were looking so good that she wanted to start working on lateral work! Yay!!! She also decided that we were doing so well that she didn't want to climb on for this lesson.

For most of the lesson we worked on getting my body in the correct position for spirals in and out. She doesn't want me cheating anymore and steering her or pushing her in with my leg and wants it to properly come more from my body. Then we took those skills and used them to help me cue the canter correctly on the spiral while on the way out to the edge of the circle. Going to the right I had a tough time and that is also Katai's tough side for canter. One time I even had my body so perfectly wrong that she instantly picked up the counter canter. We did get two good transitions that way though and then I got two great ones in the other direction and we called it quits so that my amazing progress pony could get a break before she started feeling to fatigued.

One of the best parts of the lesson for me, other than a perfect left lead canter depart that had L grinning from ear to ear, was that after watching us for a few minutes at the beginning of our lesson she said that if she keeps going like this we could start out showing training next year and dabble at first!!! She said that Katai would be in a great place compared to some rated tests that she's seen at training level as long as we can continue to make improvements in a couple of areas. I've got homework, namely not allowing Katai to throw my weight to the outside of the circle and to practice picking her up at the walk and then giving her the rein again. She wants me to do this a lot so that it no longer offends princess pony and she just expects that its part of the routine.

I really thought I was going to be starting out at intro at a schooling show and maybe possibly doing a training level test at the end of the year. Training with a possible Level 1 test at the end of the year is more than I even thought we could accomplish next year but with how she is feeling I have complete confidence that as long as the wheels don't fall off the wagon before then we'll be able to do it!


  1. The throwing the weight to the outside thing is my daily struggle right now. Yay for excellent goals and progress though - training level, look out! You're going to be great!

  2. It's amazing how much strength improves work outs. That sounds so obvious, but sometimes you don't know just how out of shape your horse/pony is until they're in shape!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

They Came! and Other Updates

I mentioned awhile back that I'd ordered a couple of Mattes pads, one for schooling and one for show, and that they hadn't shown up quite in time for my last show of the year. Then they were scheduled to arrive while I was in NY so I had to have them re-delivered when I got back. They showed up last week but I've been so distracted by farrier related things that I haven't shared yet.

I like them so much!! The dark grey one with the logo is for schooling/clinics etc. The light grey one is for shows. It honestly is a bit flashier than I expected but I think in the show ring it will be ok. I also LOVE the color of both of them :)

I'm really happy with both of them. The only thing I'm not happy about is that they're both longer from spine to girth loop than my other Mattes euro fit pad. I'm hoping that after they got washed a few times they'll shrink a bit but otherwise they'll work, they're just longer than I'd prefer.
Along with my new far…

Long Time, No Post

Last week was nuts. Opening a new site like that just is, especially when you’ve got 25+ brand new employees being trained in a site that is still being moved into. Add to that the fact that I had some short nights, early mornings, and I didn’t sleep that well and I’m still exhausted even after a nice quiet weekend. Pretty much the only thing I did outside of relaxing at home was grocery shopping and going to the barn.

I made it out both Saturday and Sunday and Katai was so good! On Saturday I rode (after lunging :) and just focused on forward, stretching, and lots of bending and flexion. I did a bit of lateral work but otherwise just kept it simple at walk, trot, and canter. Her canter, though, was seriously the best it’s been. I guess the two weeks off was a good break for her! She was really moving forward rather than up into the transitions and was stretchy and carrying herself. Her back felt great and solidly strong and she was really through rather than just running with he…

PS of Sweden Flying Change Bridle Review

I've been doing my seasonal "favorites" posts but haven't had much to review recently since I haven't been purchasing much. Thanks to saving up some money I was able to spend a bit more on presents (for everyone including myself) this Christmas and finally got the PS of Sweden bridle that's been on my list for over a year.

Based on the information I had I decided to order the pony sized bridle. I had messaged asking for the bridle size but never heard back. I really should have messaged again before ordering as you're about to see.

Unfortunately when the bridle arrived and I compared it with a bridle I had at home that fit Katai I was pretty sure it was going to be too small. I brought it out to the barn, tried it on her and sure enough it was way too small. Not even close enough to be able to punch extra holes. So, I brought it back home and got it packaged up to return.

After a couple of emails back and forth and many days later (I shipped it back on 12…