Friday, 19 May 2017

Introduction to grown up ponydom

We're going to ignore the fact that I haven't posted for almost 2 weeks k? K. Lets move on!
It was lesson day today! Even up until last night I hadn't decided who I was going to ride, but the lesson was at half 8 today so when I woke up at 10 past it promptly became Ron's turn! (Sunny takes a long time to get ready ;) )
That's the story of how Ronpony was prepared for his first lesson under saddle!
He. Was. So. Good! Sam was so impressed with him and kept saying what a cool pony he is. We did lots and lots of trot work that got little man puffing! The other main focus of the lesson was transitions, making sure I rode them properly with my seat rather than my hands and he responded super well (so well in fact that I was almost halted out of the saddle at one point lol!). I honestly can't get over how much fun this pony is, he's awesome!

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Adventures of Ronald

On Sunday I took Beth and Sparkie to a show (which they bossed and came second woo go guys!) and then since Sparkie had only done the one class and was still feeling plenty energetic, we detoured on the way home and he came by to visit his old friends! We had been planning to take Ron for a little hack and decided it would probably be nice for him to have a sensible (Read: Not Sunny) friend for his first hack, enter Sparkie!
So off we went, Beth on Ron and me on Sparkie bc height lol. Ron was soooo so good! He was happy to go in front or behind, happy to stand and wait when required, happy to have a trot through a big open field and even happy when we almost got attacked by geese (me and Beth were decidedly not happy at that point). I can't fault him. For a horse that's been ridden 4 times for a max of 20 minutes a time to go out for an hours hack without a care in the world I honestly could not have asked for more, good pony!

He was pretty sweaty when we got back so I gave him a quick hose off. He most definitely did not enjoy that but he tolerated it which is all I ask!

Sunday, 7 May 2017

A week with no internet

My internet has been out this week so I have like 5 rides under my belt and I'm going to attempt to do a quick run down of the past week or so.

Saturday: Minnie had come for a sleepover on Friday so after a morning run (Hahahah yeah apparently that's a thing I do now) O and I went out for a nice little wander, Sunny's first ride in about 2 weeks and he was pretty chill and we had a lovely time.

Monday: Sunny schooled, which I actually managed to get a blog up about when I posted about his birthday.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were day's off for ponies.

Friday: I rode Ron for 20 minutes, mostly in trot. The lesson of the day was learning that after we have trotted we can walk again and don't have to take a break. He was really good, had one little spook when Dory decided to roll pretty much right behind him but he styled it out and carried on like  a good pony. Also he got a new saddle pad and this picture is a super bad angle but yes he is fat but look how cute it is!

Then I rod Sunny, he was pretty eager about the poles on the ground which he decided were jumps even though they weren't jumps but hey they look like jumps lets jump them! No. Consequently every time I asked him to canter he started veering towards them which then meant we had to do a lot of canter to learn that this is not ok! In the end he was a very good boy but did end up super sweaty and in serious need of a hose down!
THEN! (Friday was busy man) Beth and I went for another lesson at the riding school and I rode Blackjack. WHO IS EFFING HUGE. Guys. This horse is like idk, 17hh? 17.2hh? The point is, I ride ponies and this hoss was LARGE.
Coot tho
Guys he was awesome! I mean, I have low expectations, he cantered when I asked him to so I was like yes did is gud hoss. BUT THEN! Instructor got me doing some leg yields with him and then I learned how to do a shoulder in and the very basics of a travers and it was literally so much fun. I mean at one point he made me drop my stirrups and then a pheasant flew at us and Blackjack spooked and we went FARRR across the arena but I sat it with no stirrups so wooo go me! He was so much fun and I want to ride him again please!
THEENNNNNN (told you Friday was busy) I went with Beth to go see Sparkie and we had a little bareback play!
Pro tip: If you retract your femurs into your sternum and ride like shit you don't look too big for the pony!
Saturday: After another run (I told you! I do that now) I mooched around with Beth for a while the Rode Sunny in the evening. We had a really chill ride but I did teach him a shoulder in! And guys, I'm not saying it was perfect or beautiful but he honest to god actually did it and I taught him that myself! I was so proud. Then he carted 4 children around for pony rides like the good little Barbie pony that he is!

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Moar birthdays!

Yesterday my little Sunnydude turned 9. 9! Seriously guys, how is he 9?!
He celebrated his birthday by....having a day off and watching me pick up poop lol. I'm sort of in the middle of some field management tasks at the minute so he had a nice chilled birthday of just being cute and getting cuddles from small children so he had a great day!
I did ride him on Monday and he was super good. We kept it super simple because it's been a good while since he was properly schooled. We worked on some transitions between gaits and within the gait, focussed on his bend and popped a little bit of leg yielding in there too. Nothing too dramatic or ground breaking but super fun!

After I rode I brought him out of the top gate of the field and rode him down the lane back
to the yard to try and practice hacking alone

Friday, 28 April 2017

Birthday dumpling!

Ronald has his (completely made up because we'll never really know but we decided it was today so there we go) birthday today! Little pudding is 5!
To celebrate he played lunging and wore polo wraps for the first ever time! I only wrapped his front legs because I wanted to make sure he was happy with those rather than putting them all on and having a bucking bronco pony but I probably could have done the whole set because he really didn't care a dot. He lunged super nicely and got lots of cuddles from everyone (including lots of small children which he muchly enjoyed) and a stud muffin! Can't really ask for more on your birthday right?

Sunny also had a lunging session and did some super lovely stretching, he was even complimented by an instructor that had come to give V and O a lesson which made me secretly very proud lol.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

On and on we go

Beth came up on Monday and Ron had another session of work. We did a quick 10 minute lunge and then guess who popped on! ME! Yes, all 5'8" of me....on the 12.3hh pony. Yay for me!
He was super good, obviously balancing was a little trickier for him with me on than with Beth because although we weigh pretty much the same I am obviously much longer so my body does not move as swiftly with his if he happens to move quickly to one side. It was all good though, we had a couple of turns that I had to move really quickly to follow with so as not to off balance him but he was very well behaved. We definitely have the forward now and he is understanding leg cues. He even had a couple of nice little trots around which was super fun.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Aim of the game: Do less

On Friday, Beth and I had a riding lesson together, which has never happened before! Sam is away for the end of the month and I hadn't been able to schedule a lesson at the beginning of it so to keep with my goal of 2 lessons a month it was time to play with a riding school pony. We went to the same place I took my dad to on fathers day last year and had a flatwork lessons. The horse they put me on was called Moley (why do riding school ponies always have such shitty names?) and at 16.2 he was rather a smidge bigger than I'm used to riding!
The first thing the instructor commented on regarding my riding after we'd demonstrated a walk/trot/canter was that, particularly in canter, I'm doing too much of the work. He said if I'd stopped driving the canter so much with my hips that Moley would definitely have stopped cantering and that the horse needed to be doing more of the work. So the aim of the rest of the lesson was to loosen my hips and use my legs more effectively to keep forward motion while allowing my body to just go with the horse rather than doing all the work.
There was then a chunk of stirrupless work to get the feeling of really melting my hips into the saddle so then when I took my stirrups back I was better (not perfect, but better) at keeping my legs long and heavy and following with my seat rather than driving too much.
It was a really good lesson and I definitely would go back for more, we'll see how the schedule works out in future to try and fit some in.