Sunday, December 2, 2012

We have a dressage pony!

Yesterday we had a dressage clinic at the barn.  Mary Arnold is a local trainer that Connie has worked on and off with for many years, and right after I first moved into the barn about 5yr ago we had a clinic with her.  Unfortunately I don't remember much about the last one other than I had a decent ride so I was cautiously optimistic about this clinic.

I had to work first thing this morning and made it to the barn in time to watch  most of Anna's ride with Phoenix.  They were working on getting Phoenix to be more responsive to Anna's aides by doing trot-walk-trot transitions.  They also did some leg yields at the walk and trot; Anna's first time doing them. Once she figured out what she was supposed to be doing they nailed them!  Mary said at the end of the ride she remembered Phoenix and I and said that he's come a long way and is very nice horse for Anna to be riding.  Made me feel like a proud mama!

For my lesson, I got on about 20mins early to warm Buddy up.  The lessons were being held in the indoor, so we went outside to warm up.  Luckily we managed to find a window when it wasn't raining.  It's been wet and cold and I've noticed over the past month that it takes Bud a lot longer to warm up.  He was little cranky and behind my leg, and I tried really hard to pick at him. 

When we went in to start the ride Buddy decided to wake up.  He started marching off right away and instead of half halting him to slow down, Mary had me focus on driving into my hand and using his forward motion to get him round.  It worked well!  Buddy seemed a little surprised that I wasn't pulling on him and our usual tug-of-war wasn't going to happen. 

We started our trot work by doing some circles and getting him to soften to the outside rein.  To the right wasn't too bad, but he was really resistant to give to my right rein going left.  We did some counter bend and once he softened brought him back to the left bend.  Mary said that he's pretty stiff in his right shoulder and needs to work on learning how balance himself.  We did have some very nice moments when he did give and started to really use his hind end.  Mary had us go down the long side and ask for a lengthening while giving on the inside rein.  It felt wonderful and we got some nice compliments!

We gave Buddy a walk break, then went back to a circle at the trot.  Mary had us spiral in and out on the circle and once we had an nice soft trot, she had me think about leg yielding him into the canter.  It took me a couple tried to figure out what I was supposed to do with each leg and rein at what time but once I got it, oh man did we have some nice transitions.  Instead of leaping or rushing into the canter he felt more balanced and round.  He couldn't hold that balanced canter for long and Mary said that's fine; again he needs to learn how to re balance himself. 

I'm so glad I decided to do the clinic and hopefully Mary will be coming back in 6-8wks.  Everyone at the barn had good rides and has homework to do.  Mary was super nice and I'm glad that she likes Buddy. 
Both boys were tired and got to play in the arena together today

No comments:

Post a Comment