Thursday, January 26, 2017

Trust: Lesson Recap 1/24

In other news it was time for another clip, and my god that mane
But look at those withers!! She's looking pretty uphill now :)
Woah, after lots of early January posts it's been awhile since I wrote anything! There have just been a lot of things going on in my life. Not bad stuff, just stuff but it has distracted me from writing anything.

Also, Katai has been reverting a bit back to her old ways. Even though she's still way better than she ever was and I know that the weather, hormones, and lack of recent rides are causing it it's still been tough. It's been especially tough to deal with the lack of relaxation which I feel like was my most fought for gain since working with Jane. However, as of this lesson on Tuesday I feel like we're getting back into the groove!

Katai started off in a good place and actually seemed like she wanted to work. She's just been so resistant that it's been tough to get anything done until mid way through the ride when she starts to soften a bit. This time though she came out of her stall soft and relaxed and despite some mare faces when I was tacking up she didn't put a foot wrong.

Time to make another pony

We started off the lesson as usually by doing a good long walking warm up and then going to trot. We focused again on getting the correct flexion while keeping her neck straight. When she's been so stiff recently we've been using a bit of neck bend to get her softened up but during this lesson we were able to go back to more properly keeping her neck more straight.

Jane had me start out spiraling on a circle only on the spiral in she had me counter flex Katai. I've don't this before (although probably never correctly) but for whatever reason on Tuesday I just couldn't do it. I really couldn't even get close. I muddled through that a few times and then Jane was kind and had me take a walk break. It's homework for next time.

During our walk break she pulled out the cavalettis and put them about 10 meters from short end of the arena so that we'd trot over them as we went down the center line. Then she had me leg yield from the far end from the wall to the center line and go over the cavalettis. Once over them we'd turn in the direction of bend that we had for our leg yield and then go backs straight down the long side and do the same thing in the other direction.

She's just so cute!!
I knew that we were going to do cavalettis and was really curious to see how they'd go. Despite using them several times at lessons in the past (with other instructors) Katai had always just rushed through them so that they didn't really do what they were intended for. This time though the first time she went through them she paused for so long on to legs that I almost unseated myself. The next time she also really paused and sat and used her new strength to get through them appropriately and in about the same rhythm. The last couple of times (probably getting tired) she went a bit quicker but still really maintained her rhythm. 

We didn't do too many since we knew how much work it was for her but Jane want's me to do this with Katai at 1-2 of my rides each week. What was really cool was that as soon as we went over them the first time her stride opened up and she really started swinging through her back. Almost as though she had just forgotten that it was possible and this reminded her.

Not my best clip but it'll do.
Also her mane isn't as bad as it looks in the photo, it actually turned out pretty cute!
AND I clipped her mare beard :)
At the end of my lesson we did some shoulder in at the walk. I've gotten it done in the past but not very correctly and so this was time for Jane to go over my position and the way I was asking and help me do it more correctly. The lesson from this, other than lots of moment by moment commentary, was that I need to allow Katai to do it wrong and trust her that she's going to do it right. Then if she doesn't I just fix it and move on. Yep, Im a perfectionist and this is really tough for me. I made a comment to Jane that I feel like she's our relationship therapist and she thought that was pretty funny but it's so true!

Also, I completely forgot to bring my little video camera but I'm going to try to remember to bring it to my ride tomorrow AND the boots from Hufglocken got here so I'll hopefully be able to share more about those soon!


  1. What a great lesson- you are inspiring me to go and ride. :)

    1. Yay! That's the best thing ever to read :)

  2. Awesome lesson! Caveletti are like magic sometimes - they can unlock movement your horse didn't even know they had!

    1. I really enjoyed it and can't wait for my next one. I really think I haven't used them enough in the past so the suggestion to do it twice a week was really helpful :)