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Can of Worms: Lesson Recap 7/11

I'm calling this next couple of weeks #summerbootcamp since we have two (now more like 1.5) weeks to really work on things before I'm out of town for 6-11 days for work. Very appropriately we had another lesson on Tuesday.

The previous Sunday we'd had our makeup lesson from the 4th of July Tuesday and then this was my regular lesson. I hadn't ridden on Monday because I needed to do #adult things such as laundry and grocery shopping. Plus it was hot and Katai had a tough ride the day before for my lesson and was going to have a tough ride the next day for another lesson so a day off didn't seem like a bad idea.

My cell phone photo library tells a
story of what I've been doing recently ;)
I always deal with a lot of rush hour traffic and since I'm driving directly North I spend it sitting directly in the hot sun in a car that doesn't have strong enough ac to deal with it. In addition, this week I got to the barn a bit late since I'd forgotten that my normal way to the barn was right through a road closure for construction #summerinMN. Then the detour had a bad car accident that had the road down to one lane and meant more time sitting in the hot sun in my car. By the time I got to the barn I was already hot and crabby and I hate being late so was feeling a bit stressed as well.

After tacking up in record time we got to the arena the bugs were HORRIBLE. I was being eaten alive and I couldn't get more than a few steps of walk from Katai before she was stamping and bitting at them. We didn't walk for too long before we went to trot since that keeps the bugs at bay.

At least better than the fly spray that I'd coated both of us in...

Again we started with getting her moving out around the full arena. After she was moving well Jane had me ask for a lengthening down the long side. At first we just got rushy steps and then Jane asked me to get her more round. 

Most of the time pony goes around like this.

Blurry but you can kind of see
She's soft through the poll, has good contact, and is very ridable but not especially round. Typically we're happy with this but on Tuesday at least she was faking the contact and not really through or using her back.

Jane had me get her way more round and get her neck lower (not overbent, just rounder than she was going). She said it may look too round from above since it's not what I'm used to but she wanted her there and for me to keep her there while I did the lengthening. The next long side I started to figure it out and then the second time I tried it that way it felt like magic. She was really pushing, her back was up and she was really carrying me along. We gave her a break and Jane said "well that really opened a can of worms". I looked up at her wondering what the heck I'd missed and she explained that now that we know she can move that way, she needs to do this more of the time. 

Veggie had a great time at the doggy daycare lady's house this past weekend.
He's good at supervising the big dogs...

I had a huge smile on my face. Apparently this pony can really move now that she's getting stronger and Jane really didn't expect it. I didn't either haha.

We switched sides and did the same thing. A bit of trial and error later we had a very similar trot on that side and then Jane had us move on to 3 loop serpentines and try to keep/get the same sort of movement. Honestly it was a hot mess. It was a lot for me to keep track of and Katai was trying to just rush through it rather than doing it appropriately. It's new for me to feel that much power from her and to push her appropriately without just making her run. In the end I was at least getting my serpentines right, the bending right, and not letting her rush with bigger movement than normal but we weren't really getting enough trot still. It's going on the list of things to practice.

My 4th of July project was trying to recreate my favorite cookies in vegan form
They turned out better than the original and after this picture was taken I added chocolate frosting on top of the marshmallows. 
By that point I was quite hot and getting tired myself and Katai was also feeling pretty done. Because of how much we'd asked at the trot, and how much we'd asked at the canter on Sunday Jane just had us do a bit of easy canter using the full arena and doing some 20 meter circles. We continued to work on getting a nice, slow, steady rhythm and also on trying to get her rounder at the canter. For this Jane had me focus on lifting the inside rein rather than pulling back. It was tricky for me to get the right feel but I started to get it towards the end. By then Katai was DUN done so we did just a tiny bit more stretchy trot and then called it a day.

She got hosed, I got splashed on and drank some water and then got my stuff put away and headed home for the air-conditioning and lots more water. In the end it felt like another amazing lesson even if my evening didn't start out that way. This tiny mare just continues to amaze me and Jane and I just can't wait to see where we go together.


  1. I love those cookies; I should make them more often.

    1. Yeeessss do it! They are just so good!

  2. Mmmm cookies! Katai sounds like shes becoming very rideable, and fun!

    1. So tasty :) She really is becoming a fancy prancer ;)

  3. What s great can of worms! A when I first saw the title, I was 'uhoh '. And are you house shopping?!

    1. I agree! I was so concerned when I first heard Jane say that and then so happy when she explained :)
      Sort of! I'm starting to plan out what I want to accomplish in the next several years and part of that is buying property. I'd like to build a small barn with an apartment attached that I can live in while I save up/build the house. That way I'll have a good place for guests to stay as well since I plan on building a very small house. I'm just starting to dream about what that might look like ;)

  4. Oh man it's both amazing and slightly intimidating to finally get those surges of power from the horse! What a cool feeling tho!! I love the "summer boot camp" idea too and am kinda doing something similar

    1. I agree! So much less intimidating on a 13.2 hand pony but I'll admit that I still get squeamish about it sometimes. It is so cool though! Yes, it's mainly working out and now I'm just hoping the weather is on my side for next week so we can continue to get things accomplished.


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