Stock Seat Dressage

Monday, February 22, 2010

Well this weekend brought two more great rides on the Pony. Friday night I stopped at the barn after work. I ended up spending about an hour with my horse child. Getting him all cleaned up and presentable. Well, at least as presentable as he gets in the winter. Dressed him all up in his slinky and blanket so he stayed clean overnight. I would have liked to clean his stall, but it was way too dark to dump manure out the back of the arena so it just had to wait.

Saturday morning, of course, was a bit on the hectic side with all the kids. Tammy came out to ride, and she brought her friend again. So she gave her a lesson on Kaye and I tacked up Miss. Miss is still looking really good, but she's back to not really eating. So we were hoping that a good ride would stimulate her appetite. I started her out on a lot of walking. Lots of circles and bending, getting her to work those back muscles. We did some trot work through the cavalettis and Bonnie put down the scary blue tarp. Eventually she put up a small vertical for us to jump. Took her over the fence about 10 times or so, and by then she was pretty tired. That's a lot of work for her, especially not being very fit right now. But she had fun, she loves being back in work. And she really loves when she gets to jump.

So Miss got put away and I brought the horse child out. X was just thrilled to have been blanketed all night, he really gets annoyed when he can't get dirty. Mainly because I think he likes being groomed so much. It's funny actually. When Miss first went to Dr. Morrow he gave us some exercises to do with her. Well one was to put pressure under her belly and get her to pick her back up. We could never get her to do it. Dr. Morrow could, none of us could though. We tried everywhere on her belly and nothing. Well I discovered that my horse does that one quite well. I was currying some of the gunk off him and I got to his belly. He just picked his whole back up and groaned. It was hilarious! Anyway, tacked him up in the western saddle again with draw reins and we headed out to the arena. Walked some circles, staying out of the kids' way. Finally we started to trot some and finally did a LOT of canter work. We did the canter into the wall, stop, change directions and canter the other direction. Lather, rinse and repeat. He really started to get back on his hindquarters and get collected at the canter. So yay!

I took my camera out with my Saturday and Ari was kind enough to film some short videos of us.

Saturday after we finished up in the barn, it was a quick trip home to get cleaned up and then out to the von Rintalin's for Maeve's going away party. Maeve was very surprised by the party. It was a good time all around. Good food, good company. If only Maeve wasn't moving away. I'm really going to miss that kid. She turning into a really good little rider. And she's such a help in the barn.

Sunday morning I was back at the barn. Bonnie and I cleaned stalls for a while. And then I tacked up the horse child again. Once again he went in the western saddle and draw reins. We had a really good ride. I took it pretty easy on him since we had done so much canter work the day before. But he was working in a nice frame. And he was on the bit and not resisting so much with his head. Yay! Still have that resistance when we go to stop. Which I know part of that is from me being to much on his mouth. But we're getting there. Slowly, but it's happening. So pleased with my little pony. And he's really starting to muscle up with only a little bit of work already. His neck is rock solid. And I can already see his shoulders and hindquarters starting to muscle up. He's turning into my little quarter horse impostor again. Bonnie said if the weather stays on the warmish side, she'll start doing a little riding. Including X. I know he'll just LOVE that. And now that Astrid is doing cyber school she's out at the barn several days during the week. I told Bonnie to feel free to use X for lunge lessons for her. It's a win-win situation for us both. X will get some additional riding time and he's a really good horse for the kids to lunge on. Once he settles in after half a dozen circles, he's very smooth and cadenced on the lunge. Easy to sit on and balance. So if I keep up working him twice on the weekends and he gets one or two extra rides during the week, he'll be conditioned and fitted up in no time. Plus, as soon as the weather breaks and it starts staying light a little later, I get back to going out and riding him one or two evenings through out the week. He was going so well when I was doing that before my little hospital stay. I really want to get back to that point.