I know, I know—this post is uber late. I’ve been busy soaking up the sun in the 100° weather of Las Vegas for the past few days. My mother, me, and my best friend flew out to celebrate my 21st birthday. We saw a few shows, lost a little money, ate some great food, and sampled a lot of adult beverages. Needless to say, this post got pushed to the back burner. 😉
Since I flew out Thursday morning there’s not a lot to cover for last week, but here’s the wrap up:
After the Pony’s bodywork, I was hopeful that the Pony would be in functional shape come Tuesday morning… and I was happy to find that she was back to her normal self! The trainer was using her lovely Crosby XL, so I saddled the Pony up in a dressage saddle instead. After a few obvious moments of cheekiness while I was leading her out, I popped her on the lunge line and quickly discovered that bodywork + a few days off = hellion pony. I let her hurl herself around me in a shape that somewhat resembled a circle until she settled into her skin, then I tightened up my girth and hopped aboard to test the waters.
The Pony felt fantastic! We warmed up at the walk/trot with some circles, serpentines, extended trot, etc., and then got down to brass tacks with some schooling on the Pony’s frame at the canter and our simple lead changes. We worked a lot on our canter-trot and trot-canter transitions (she has a tendency to ignore my cue for a downward transition and instead give me the tiniest canter she can manage, NOT helpful!) and then went into some canter serpentines. We even threw in some figure 8’s at the canter—something I’ve always avoided in the Wintec!
After our success with the dressage saddle, I decided to use it again on Wednesday. I got to the stable early enough that I was the only one around to use the arena, so we spent 90% of our ride working off of the wall. We did a ton of work at the canter (oh man, my core was so sore!). We rode on the quarter/center line a lot, and we used more serpentines and figure 8’s to practice our simple lead changes. I also put a big emphasis on circles, and I finally feel like we’re getting some very nice, consistent circles at the trot (and occasionally at the canter). We tacked on some turns on the hind/fore and some sidepassing, too, but for the most part we cruised around at the canter while I reminded the Pony to keep her head down so that I could focus on sitting up straight and pushing my shoulders back.
Even though there wasn’t a lot of ride time, I feel like we had two very successful rides last week! The Pony was very soft and responsive, to the point where she was actively listening/anticipating our lead changes. It was great to have the work I’ve been doing with her validated. Combine her improvements with the deep seat of the dressage saddle and we were doing stuff that I normally feel unsure about with grace and ease! My stability feels like night and day now that I’ve found some saddles that fit me better than the Wintec, and the more I ride, the more I realize that I need a new saddle.
And speaking of new things… well, let’s just say I may have only put a couple of twenties into the slot machines, but that doesn’t mean I left Las Vegas without dropping four figures on an unexpected purchase. More about that later! 🙂