Tuesday, November 29, 2016

What We've Been Up To

It's been a while since I've updated the blog, but it feels like not much has happened. We're chipping away at the same old, same old. Working on pace, rhythm, and bend. We've had a couple good rides and lessons, and some bad rides and lessons.
We've done some grazing too
One of our biggest works in progress right now is cantering fences. I get nervous and tighten up; Peebs is convinced cantering around the arena is way too much work and the littlest touch from me is an excuse to break to the trot. Then I have to kick him back up to the canter and he gets offended. Then we're quick and rushy, and usually crooked and not balanced. Which makes me even more nervous. It's a fun cycle. We got downgraded to ground poles, because cantering them doesn't scare me nearly as much as actual jumps. Our instructions for now are to Make Him Go Forward, at all costs.  Trainer doesn't care about his bend, or our distance to the pole, or even what lead he's on. She says Peebs has to canter till I actually ask him for a downward transition and I have to relax my hands and arm and let him go to the "fence". Because of the weather and the holiday I haven't had a lot of opportunities to jump, but our few attempts have steadily gotten better. 

And some bareback No Stirrups November
We had a great dressage lesson last Monday. We focused on getting Peebs extra round and deep, then softening and letting him carry himself. We got our first steps of actual self carriage. His left lead canter was amazing; I was able to sit still and let him carry himself. He was so soft and light in my hand, definitely the best he's ever felt. Even our right lead canter had moments of brilliance where he kinda got it, but it's for sure a lot more work then the left. Which is better than the week before where he refused to bend right at all in the canter. Baby steps.

But how can you stay mad at that face?!?
We had had a complete meltdown about bending to the right while cantering at the end of an otherwise good ground pole lesson where Peebs decided he was done and F you very much.  We were cantering up the long side to a single pole and he wanted to counter bend in the turn, throw his head up and to the left while swinging his haunches in.  He'd then grab the bit and run at the pole.  I got upset, he got upset, then trainer got on.  She tried just circling down in the far corner, but Peebs wasn't having it.  The one time she tried turning him pretty sharply, he propped up on his front end and just stopped then wouldn't move.  We did end up working through it, somewhat, but it was no where near as nice as it could have been.  But trainer told me to keep my expectations low and keep asking for a little more bend and softness each ride.  Again, baby steps when I want marathons.  If nothing else, Peebs will keep me humble.


  1. Baby steps are where its at and eventually you feel magically there!

  2. ha Peebs and my new guy could probably have epic conversations about how unreasonable and ridiculous we are being about asking for inside bend around turns... tho charlie struggles more to the left than the right. i agree with you tho - it's super frustrating! my trainers tell me the same as yours tho, just asking for a little more, a little more, each ride.... maybe one day!

  3. You're making such good progress! That first pic is gorgeous, BTW :)