Tuesday, December 29, 2015

No Lesson: Recap

Really enjoying my new photo editing app!
Since my trainer was out of town for the holidays I didn’t have a lesson this past Sunday. I had given Katai almost a week off both because I thought she needed a more extended vacation and because I did. I didn’t want it to start feeling like work for either of us and planned to start back with consistently riding 5 days per week after Christmas.

So, the past Sunday I had my lesson and then on Saturday, since she had just had 5 days off, I followed my own advice and just lunged. She went really, really well! She was letting me determine her trot speed and stride length on the lunge but was defaulting to a nice slow trot on the lunge line. It really gave me something to think about because that means that if she’s racing around under a rider but not on the lunge I’ likely doing something with my body as I’m riding to cause her that tension. I’m not completely ruling out that she just has a more negative association of being ridden (no thanks to J) but I also made some plans to be more self-aware the next time I rode.

Cute pony is cute
On Sunday I decided to start out with a nice slow trot and just stick with it until I got it in each direction. I reminded myself to keep it simple and if she felt like she was going to explode or escalate I was going to get something good and then quit. She ended up being really good and starting out at that nice slow trot again but with a bit more tension and head flinging. I did discover something though! As she was flinging her head I remembered that she hadn’t done that in side reins (which are much lower than my hands but still) so I focused on taking that firm but steady feeling with my hands but staying really relaxed and it worked! She settled right into good work which is making me think that part of her rushing is that I’m not supporting her enough which is causing her to lose her balance.
She was still fairly tense but I got one great canter transition to the right and then called it quits. Not something I’d normally do since we never did canter to the left but I sensed an impending blow up and decided to quit while I was ahead. I’ll be interested to see if this strategy is helpful or not but I’m hopeful that it will help her feel more confident and thus, less argumentative.
This week my riding schedule will be Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday which will get me to my five rides. I plan on doing ground poles, another lunge session, and hopefully drill team!


  1. I love it when something "clicks" and you get a bit of a window into how you might proceed forward. She sounds like she's doing wonderfully. I'm wishing I had taken some time off too, you're smart!

    1. Me too! Yeah, it was great and refreshing for both of us. Unfortunately I found out that I'm going to be out of town for work the 3rd week in January so we'll get another week vacation pretty soon. Hopefully I can have my trainer put some rides on her!

  2. When I was first getting Bobby going again with Trainer after his injury, she had to constantly tell me to hold his mouth--not pull, but I couldn't just expect him to go around on a soft rein right off the bat when he wasn't strong enough to do it yet. You might have stumbled onto the same thing with Katai!

    1. That's very true! I'm hoping that it's what's been going on because that's an easy way to fix her head flinging if she's just looking for support.


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