Thursday, July 9, 2009

I Made Ashley Cry

Today, Michelle was out to ride with us again (she is not able to ride Dan till Sunday per Wrenn's instructions) and Ashley and I were excited to have a group. I videoed some and took some low-pixel stills.

First, Maddy had a little lesson on Gypsy in the Dressage saddle. Ashley led her around. I just watched and didn't hold on to her this time. She did really well. They ever trotted and I didn't jog along side holding her pant leg. I videoed part of that. She probably rode 15 minutes.

Next, Michelle videoed and I gave Ashley a lesson...or a yelling-at, whichever. This was the first time I had Ashley ride Dressage on Gypsy without warming her up for her first...and it was obvious. She couldn't get her to go on the bit. She was getting frustrated. She was about to cry. She tried to get down. I told her to stay there and just do what I said, I told her what to do to get her to flex and respond. She did was I said; hip-release basically, and magically there was a difference. She gets frustrated and stops using all the parts of her body and makes it worse. There is so much you have to keep track of when riding; legs, hips, arms, elbows, shoulders, wrists, hands, head, it's hard!

She finally got it worked out and they had some nice circles and she relaxed enough to canter left a circle or two. Next, Michelle got on and enjoyed a big horse for once (her parent's horse is 14.2H) and a big walk. She got her on the bit quite a bit and pronounced her a very fun horse. We got her to canter a little even though was nervous to try.

Ashley gave Gypsy a bath and I tacked up Dazzle and warmed her up at the canter. She was being amazing; both leads, no wrong leads, I did all three circles to the right, trotting in between so she had to pick up the right lead every time, then to the left just cantering the whole way. I was able to ride with some weight in my heels and my legs quite. I held my whip and I only needed to use it a couple times. She is starting to understand! It's so liberating not to be struggling to kick her to keep going! She stayed in the canter until I asked for the trot. Super!!!! Maybe we'll actually get to work on being on the bit in the canter soon.

Next, Michelle rode Dazzle while I worked with Dan on stopping and backing with his handler more sharply. He seems to be a fast learner. Then, I yelled Intro B for Michelle to ride as she's never actually gotten to ride a test in a show before and it's been years since she got to practice one. She liked that, they were a little all over the place, but it was better than the first time I rode through it this last Spring.

Last, Ashley got on Dazzle and I gave her a fairly hard-core yelling-at, I mean lesson. She has a hard time remembering to steer with her legs and not her hands. It's hard to steer, control speed, and keep a horse on the bit at the same time. I haven't required too much from her up to now, but she's old enough and has enough ability that I can ask more from her. So, we were working on canter and she was getting frustrated with me requiring transitions in a certain place, with Dazzle dumping her hip in/out, etc. Finally, I wanted her to canter the whole arena and not let her drop to a trot at the ends. She keeps trying to ride the corners like corners instead of like half a 20 m circle. She keeps letting her trot so it's to the point I'm sitting in my lawn chair yelling across the arena, "Whack her NOW, NOW, don't let her trot!" and she starts screaming back at me, "I CAN'T!" lol, and starts crying. Finally she adds that her ribs hurt, which she should have said before as I understand ribs hurting, she means her side aches and I get that sometimes too, but I Can't isn't going to cut it. So I had her walk the arena and cool her down for a bit. She probably rode half an hour and was doing great even though she was frustrated a lot of the time. It's good for her, she isn't used to working when she rides and now that's she is past a kid's horse she gets to learn to use all the stuff I've been preaching at her since she was 7.

She is thinking maybe she wants to show Dazzle next year, so that would be a blast. We could share her like we did Thunder. If I get Ashley a membership with ApHC and CRHA she could help get the points needed to get Dazzle her COAs and ROMs if she placed well enough. She seemed to recover from crying just fine and we plan to ride again tomorrow after the farrier does their feet. Dazzle is getting shoes since she has to have them for the Ride and Gypsy is getting a much needed trim. Hopefully she is less trippy after that.

1 comment:

Carrie Giannandrea said...

I have a young lady, learning to ride. She gets to ride one horse bareback and I make her keep a loose rein and post. The next horse she rides she gets a saddle, but no irons. She is learning well that the horse can and will work from your legs and seat. I am tickled pink to read your blog. Please keep up the great essays!!

Carrie Giannandrea
Dances with Horses
Formula One Farms