Thursday, March 19, 2015

Back to Basics

I didn't ride Tia in over a week so when I pulled her out on Tuesday I thought it would be good to revisit some of our issues from our last ride, our horrible trot pole lesson. I set up an easy one stride, x-rail to ground pole with the intent to turn it into an x-rail. I've never taken Tia through a grid, and I seem to remember one of her past lesson girls trying and it not going well.  I'm of the feeling that because she is such a natural hunter that whoever started her just went right to course work, didn't do some (to me) basics. Luckily I really like grids so Tia will have many of them in her future.

Doing baby basic grids is hard work
When we first approached the mini-gird I could feel Tia question it.  It was the same "I have no idea what to do" feeling she had during the lesson.  Like she couldn't figure where to put her feet or how to jump.  She backed way off and almost jumped the x-rail from a standstill.  She did what I call the splits over it; front feet on the off side while the back feet were still on the takeoff side. She did a tiny little canter step then realized she didn't have enough room to fit a second one it and supermaned it over the pole.  She's a horse that can't split her stride over a ground pole, she'll either chip in or leave long.   I just tried to stay out of her way and support with my hand and leg to keep her going.  I did laugh a bit though.
Scary stuff man
It took about four times through the "grid" for her to really get it and to smooth things out.  The one stride became easy and she was relaxing so I put the ground pole up to an x-rail.  Coming to it she wanted to back off, but didn't feel as confused as when we first started.  She looked at the grid but went right through pretty well.  I only did the x-rail to x-rail another couple times since she was getting it.  It wasn't hard physically, but it was a big mental challenge to her.  I was just about done when my BO (Tia's owner) came out and I was able to get her to video us. I have no idea what my outside hand is doing, kindly ignore it.


  1. nice! i love grid work too - esp that moment when the horse is like, "OH i get it now - well that's not so hard after all!"

  2. That looks super quiet and sweet at the end there! I introduced my mare to a grid the other day for the first time without double checking the striding (another trainer had left it up) and... well... it was three jumps with a stride between each of them but the final jump had this somewhat insane, 'hail mary' quality to it... Turns out that last jump had been a 2'6" oxer but had been turned back into an X before I entered the arena... whoops! I digress, you're looking good!

  3. Love the video, she totally figured it out!

  4. Miles is the same way -- I think he went right to courses!