Walk/Trot Challenge

Monday, March 28, 2011

Friday night the plan was to head down to Mountaineer for an evening with my camera and some fast ponies.  However when I woke up Friday morning and saw the weather that idea got scratched for a few weeks.  Ended up being way too cold and I know that on the river after the sun goes down I would be freezing.  Hard to take good photos when you can't move your fingers.  So Astrid asked me to take her out to the barn and give her a braiding lesson.  We headed out to the barn about 6:30-ish and pulled Miss out so Astrid could practice.  I showed her how to do a couple and then let her try the rest.  She didn't do too badly for her first time.  And really she just needs to practice.  Once she learns to get the braids light and even she'll be good.  Poor Miss though, I think she thought she would be going to an event.

Twinkie didn't want to be left out

Not too bad for her first time

Saturday morning I head out to the barn early and we started the day by cleaning a few stalls.  Started with Kaye and Miss since Bonnie had turned them out in the arena.  And of course the goofy mares were difficult when Tabby and Sarah went out to catch them.  Then we turned Buggers out to work off a bit of energy so Rachel could ride him later, and we cleaned his stall while he was out.  By the time we finished with Bugsy, Rachel, Katie and Ari had arrived.  So Rachel tacked up Kaye, Katie tacked up Mystic and I tacked up Miss for a lesson.  Jumping lesson with Miss wasn't so great, completely my fault.  And I really don't know what my issue was on Saturday, I just had a mental block for some reason.  And so i feel horrible, I gave Miss such a bad ride and it wasn't her fault at all.  I watched the rest of Katie and Rachel's lesson and then Bonnie told me to put Miss away and get on Fanny to straighten her out.

Tabby and Sarah had tacked up Fanny to ride and well Fanny was being a snot.  Ari got on her first just to give her a little reminder about going into corners and things.  And then she put Tabby up for her lesson.  Well Fanny dumped Tabby.  So Ari got back on and Fanny did her best to get Ari off as well.  Didn't manage it, although she came pretty close.  But Ari just wasn't up to dealing with her crap.  Bonnie wanted me to get on her and make her listen, basically make her miserable if I had to until she started acting like the good little pony she should be.  I quickly switched saddles, put a martingale on her and hopped up.  I carried a dressage whip but actually never even had to use it on her.  I sent her right to the rail at a walk and in the first corner she thought about cutting it short, but she got a swift heel in the side and thought better about it.  Plus as soon as I got on her I shortened my reins up and actually took a hold of her mouth.  Which the kids never do, we keep telling them all to shorten their reins so they have contact, but the reins are always flapping with a big old loop.  Fanny and I came to an understanding a long time ago that she didn't intimidate me.  And it didn't take long for her to remember that.  After that she was so good.  We trotted around the arena with her ears perked and then followed Carlee and Kaye through the cavaletti.  First couple of times she tried to rush through because she's so used to the kids grabbing her with their legs, but after two or three times she realized that I wasn't putting any leg on at all and she didn't need to run through them.  Then Bonnie set up a tiny little crossbar for us to pop over.  It was so funny because I really didn't know what to do with myself.  Between the fence being so small and Fanny being so small (I felt like I was practically sitting on the ground after riding my big TBs) I was afraid if I got to far forward I would be on her ears.  So I just barely lifted myself out of the saddle and leaned forward just enough to get my weight off her back.  And Fanny responded with the cutest little hop over the jump.  Bonnie raised the fence a couple of times, nothing too big, but about 18 inches or so.  Bonnie made the comment about me setting the standard for all the kids to beat in the walk/trot division with Fanny.  So who knows maybe I'll be showing Fanny walk/trot this summer to challenge the kids to improve their own rides.  Could be fun.  If I ride Fanny again next weekend I'll have to have Astrid or someone take pictures.  It's got to be funny seeing me ride her.