Side Reins Again

Boring report! Longed Rob in side reins yesterday. She was okay, although I didn’t see much give in the trot. We did canter both ways, which I was pleased with.

Alex went home yesterday as well. I know Julie really wants him; I wonder what she’ll do about buying him…


Alex Ride, Robbye 3′

Had an interesting trip to the barn yesterday.

Firstly, my dad came out to fix some of our jump standards. I love hanging out with my dad, so that was fun. The standards are a lot easier to use, now!

Secondly, I got to ride Alex. First we walked around the arena, with Julie helping to keep him moving forward. I tried to keep my hands and legs completely off him, and to just use my seat and thighs. This was a nice lesson, related to what Robbye and I learned last Friday. Then, Julie put us on the longe line and we trotted a bit. I hung onto his breast collar and didn’t touch his mouth a bit. We encouraged forward above all, and didn’t ask him for anything complicated. He demonstrated a huge improvement…I hope that Julie figures out a way to keep him. He’s a very very nice horse.

Next, I took Robbye out to jump. Dad had made us a new flower box, which he filled with weeds. Rob did look at the box and weeds, but didn’t act afraid of it. We did some bounces and some more 3ft. We didn’t accomplish much, but I know now more of what I need to work on.

Back to Work!

It’s cooled down here significantly, so Robbye and I are back to work! I had a very lazy last week when it comes to journaling, so here’s the condensed version of our week:

Monday: Longed in side reins. Seeing definite progress!
Tuesday: Rode bareback; worked on my position.

Wednesday: WE JUMPED 3FT!!! AHHHH!! She was great, and acted like the fences were nothing at all.

My little cousin also rode her, and even cantered on the longe line. She was so awesome.

Thursday: Took a rode ride down to a little town. It was a nice ride, and I got to work on my position.
Friday: Lesson! It was a great one. Notes:

  • Here’s how we steer: put more weight in the inside stirrup/seat bone, press with outside thigh and calf, half-halt with outside rein to prevent shoulder-popping. Reinforce with inside rein but only when
  • My lower legs are getting better but I still need to keep them back. This more than anything will help us steer with my seat.
  • Sit up, chest out, and (especially while cantering) press my belly button out with the forward motion.
  • While leg yielding, I need to keep my hips and shoulders in line. Half halt with the inside (toward the direction we’re moving) rein on my up post to encourage movement.
  • Can ask for a canter at the last two strides of a leg yield to encourage correct lead…although we only seem to have this problem during lessons :/
  • Elbows need to stay BACK and IN. Apparently I like to twist my forearms around, which twists her as a result.
  • Reins need to stay longer. Hands should be in front of the saddle, not up Robbye’s neck.

Saturday: Julie rode Robbye. She mentioned that her gaits are a lot bigger than it looks from the ground, which I thought was interesting. One cute thing happened – they were just trotting around, steering around two tiny cross rails that were set up, when suddenly Robbye locked on to one of these cross rails. She really really wanted to jump! Julie had to yank her away from it. So cute.

I also took her on a bareback rode ride, then rode bareback in the ring a bit. We jumped bareback again. WOO!
Sunday: Robbye’s day off.

This week I really want to work on steering from the seat.  I think it’s going to add a lot to our finesse, including in jumping. Practice time!

Plus, once I can really steer from my seat then….we can start working on riding bridle-less!!! Maybe that will be my goal for next summer 🙂

It’s Hot Outside

Well, it looks like July isn’t going to be very productive on the horsie front…it’s been very very hot this week.

I did ride on Wednesday, but we didn’t accomplish much – I was trying to ask for changes over a cavaletti, but she didn’t get it. We did get some practice on our walk->canter transitions, so that was nice.

Last night I wanted to do some more ground work, but we just ended up fighting. I think we were both grumpy because of the heat, and she hadn’t eaten dinner yet so she was being dramatic.

Oh well! I’ve been getting some other stuff done around the house, have done some wedding stuff, etc., so it’s all good.

Lesson, Pony Ride, Groundwork

I’ve been consistently crappy feeling for the past week or so. I think it’s a combination of the cat bites, the heat, and dehydration. I feel like I’ve had a constant mild heachache. Bleeeech. And of course, I don’t have any work to do at work, so I’m bored out of my mind….


Friday Rob and I had a lesson. Things we worked on:

  • Steer with the outside aids exclusively. Bridging my reins can help me rely less on the inside rein to steer.
  • All gaits must be powerful. We really really need to work hard if we’re going to get good impulsion.
  • My seat has improved! Michele mentioned it a couple times!!

So ya…it was a good lesson, but we didn’t learn a whole lot of new stuff. I think Michele is really trying to get us on the bit, now. Hopefully this new “working harder” trot, combined with longeing in side reins once a week, will work to get us there.

Saturday the club and Kathy’s friend, Quizzy, headed out to check out a horse Kathy liked. The horse was cool, but not perfect. Kathy hasn’t ruled him out yet, but she’s looking at other options.

After the barn trip, Quizzy got a pony ride from Robbye! They were both so so good. I think Rob was a little confused and nervous at first – I’m the only one who’s ever really ridden her before, after all – but she mostly got over it. She did tend to sneak up to me when Quizzy forgot to enforce steering.

Quizzy had a ton of fun, I think. I did too! She even got to do some posting trot…and of course, Robbye provided her little western jog, which was so nice.

Sunday I took the day off for a date day (Cox Arboretum, then Star Trek at the cheapie theater!).
Monday Rob and I had a “discussion” about ground manners. She’s been a total butthead on the ground lately – I think we’re going to start doing some groundwork before every ride. Monday, she was good. We talked about not eating grass every time we go out side, and we talked about walking slowly when I’m walking slowly.
Verbal cues seem to work really well for her. Saying “slow” or “no” really gets her attention. Interesting.
Tuesday we longed in side reins. Her walk was great, and I think her trot is getting better as well. Progress!!
…and tonight I finally get to ride again. It’s been a little while 🙂

Lazy Day

Had a super lazy day at the barn yesterday. I tried to catch the feral cat, but she bit and scratched me…so that hurt. Then I didn’t feel like riding, so I braided Rob’s mane instead. I wanted to see what it would look like in a double french braid. I’m pleased with how it turned out!

And…Louie is headed back to New Vocations today. 😦

Pic spam:

So pleased with how the forelock came out.
That. NECK.
This is my off side – so I have to braid with my right hand. It was really hard to do.
The culprit. She’s so pretty!
My very swollen hand.

Jumping Bareback!!!!

At one point she just stopped, cocked her foot and…gave up. What a brat!

What a week it’s been so far!

Tuesday I longed Rob in side reins. She went very well at the walk, and it seemed like she was starting to get the idea of head down, nose in, power from the hind. At the trot, there didn’t seem to be much progress – she just pulls against the reins with her head up. But I’m hopeful.

Also on Tuesday, Puddy caught a baby bird who had fallen from his nest. We rescued him and got to really admire how pretty and cute he was. I hope he’s doing well, now!

Yesterday (Wednesday) was the big progress – Rob and I jumped bareback! First we worked on my position a bit, but there was a tiny x-rail set up and I just couldn’t resist. First I did a pole, then we did the x twice, then we did a small (1 foot, maybe?) vertical. Woohoo!

Starting to pull my leg back without thinking….

Of course, we couldn’t have a ride without a little drama! Robbye got really into the jumping and offered some bucks…but I rode through it, and we ended on a high! YES.