Monday, September 28, 2015

Growing Pains

 We had a lesson last Wednesday, and will hopefully continue to have weekly lessons for a while, and we rode right during feeding time.  The mare was up and not super happy to be working at first but we held it together.  But when we started jumping all she wanted to do was run at the baby crossrails. We spent close to 45 minutes trying to get her to trot the fences without running at them, sucking back behind my leg, hanging on my hands, throwing her head, or going sideways.  Both my trainer and I were really happy with how I handled it.  I didn't get mad or upset just kept on asking for a decent trot, straightness, and connection. Even a couple months ago the antics McKenna pulled would have A) freaked me out and I would have have my trainer get on her and/or B) sent the mare into outer space.

Strike a pose
Saturday I wanted to jump again but this time I set out trot poles before the jumps to try and slow down the beast.  After we warmed up on the flat we started jumping and the mare decided that trot poles are really supposed to be cantered.  We attempted to trot nicely but she was completely ignoring my hands and plowing thru the pole and fences.  I stopped her hard in front of a couple jumps and circled around to come again which usually gets thru her go-go-pony brain but it didn't work.  I decided to pull out the big guns and got off to switch her bit. 
I don't like big girl bits

I've been riding her in a French link but obviously that doesn't have enough brakes.  I grabbed my slow twist and got back on to see how she would do with it on the flat. Other than stopping once when I half halted strongly she didn't seem too upset by it. Sunday we attempted the trot poles to jumps again and what do you know?  I had a pony with brakes!!  She was still wanted to go go go, but came back at my half halts and listened.  I think I'll leave the slow twist on this bridle and set up the French link on another so we can have a jump bit and flat bit.


  1. Glad the equipment change helped so much!

  2. oh McKenna.... kudos for staying patient with the rides tho! and really, sometimes a stronger aid/bit makes all the difference. gives you the confidence to insist, while also giving the horse more room to get it done bc you don't have to be as loud with the aids. glad it worked!