Tuesday, March 17, 2015

What Success is to Me

I've been mentally writing this post for the past couple days, and think it's perfect that Tracy posted on it as well.  On Saturday we had another dressage lesson with TS and on Sunday our massage therapist was out to work on McKenna. On both days I was complimented on just how far the mare's come and how she seems like (finally) she's growing up.
Tia trying to get McKenna to play in the paddocks.  McKenna says "I've grown up now, I don't do that anymore"

Our lesson went really, really well.  We started with some walk-halt-rein back exercises that I've been doing after watching the Melanie Smith Taylor clinic. I've found that it helps McKenna focus, especially went she wants to be a bit up or spooky.  TS really had me focus on making sure McKenna was straight.  Both directions she wanted to float her haunches to the left, but a little left leg and right rein fixed that.

We then moved on to trot work where we were again complemented on how far McKenna's come.  She was able to come round, work the whole arena, and change directions and bend quietly.  TS had us come back to the walk to star some leg yields, and once we go them we tried it at the trot.  I've attempted leg yields a few times, but I'm never quite sure I have them on my own.  TS said they looked very good, the only thing I need was a bit more opening outside rein to help guide her over.  We did get told to not do too many; McKenna's the type of horse that once she's got something she gets cranky if we drill it too much. She's got a healthy ego and knows when she's right and doesn't see the point in doing something again.
The look of a champ
Four our canter work McKenna did her normal routine going right: counter bend, slow down, and not want to go forward.  TS said I was nagging too much with my inside leg, to give her one or two swift "karate kicks" then take pressure off.  I was also sitting too deep in my left seat bone when I needed to shift my weight to the right.  Once I figured myself out and quit nagging the mare, we had some nice canter transitions.  Funny how that works.  TS had me do a circle at each short end then start some shallow serpentines, from the rail to the quarter line and back, to introduce the feeling of counter canter.  Our first few times were pretty rough, but we improved each time and that's what matters.  That's our homework for next time.

At the end of the lesson we stopped and chatted with TS in the center of the right and she kept complimenting me and McKenna (including lots of head scratches and baby talk), saying just what an nice horse she is and how far she's become.  It really made my happy and I realized that this is what success is.  It's taking an unbalanced, somewhat crazy young OTTB and bringing them along myself.  It's that feeling of accomplishment after a great lesson or hack knowing you put this horse together and knowing there's still more to come.


  1. Great minds think alike! It's interesting how so many of us see success in a similar light when it comes to riding and horses.

  2. love it! McKenna sounds like she's doing so well!! also kinda love that pic of her being too dignified to play in the paddocks haha

  3. Woohoo sounds like a fab lesson with plenty takeaways. Perfect mix of positives & homework ☺