Friday, May 15, 2015

Kick On

McKenna and I had a lesson Tuesday night with our jump trainer that was a continuation of McKenna's current "I don't wanna, I don't like it" trend.  Poor mare seems to be going through some teenage rebellion and growing pains. 

We were put right to work on a circle asking for a forward trot.  Trainer thinks I've gotten too worried about where her head is and getting her round, and that we need to take a step back and get our flow back.  The trot was actually pretty decent, she was just a bit harder to get going and soft tracking left than right.  The training wheel really came off in our canter work.  We'd canter a circle or two then McKenna decided she was done and would break to the trot.  Being the nice mom that I am, I would let her, then trot around till we had a nice soft trot and ask for the canter again.  Trainer said McKenna was very easily taking advantage and I needed to nip it in the bud.  As soon as I started to feel her break in the canter I was to kick on and boot her forward.  Forget about it being pretty, or soft, or where her head was, she needed to go until I said stop.

But she's too cute to get mad at
It's not like she's out of shape or unconditioned to canter more than two circles in a row.  She just doesn't want to.  She did protest with some head flinging and a couple little hops the first time I got after her, but got over much better than she did her tantrum on Sunday.  Baby steps for the teenager.

We had been riding inside (and sharing the ring with a western pleasure rider) but trainer wanted to see how she'd be outside and work on some trot poles.  It had been raining off and on all day but was currently not raining so we headed out.  The ring was wet, with some little puddles but McKenna's a PNW born-n-bred pony so she didn't care at all. We started trotting around and of course it starts sprinkling but trainer made us stay out there.  McKenna was more up and alert outside but I was told to not worry about it, just get her going forward and focus on the trot poles.  The poles were set at about a stride and half and my job was make her wait and add for the two.
Gimme cookies

It for sure wasn't our prettiest trips through poles but that wasn't the goal.  We did four or five trips through the poles, fitting in the two steps, and each time got better.  McKenna was still not as round and soft as she could have been but she was listening and not taking off or being naughty, even when it started raining harder and we were going directly into it.  She did lay her ears flat back and hump her back up but I kicked on, and she went through the poles and halted nicely after. Yay mare! 


  1. sounds tricky - fitting in that extra half step definitely takes coordination!

  2. I'm the same way -- sometimes I'm just too nice!