Wednesday, May 7, 2014

VCBH: Here and Now

Yay for L and her endless supply of blog topics since I am in the throes of hellish work weeks and haven't been riding much.  

"What are you currently working on in your rides or lessons?"

Well I think most people who ride mares will agree... it's absolute impossible (and laughable) to get on a mare with a plan, and then carry it out.  Mollie will 100% laugh in my face and not allow that to happen.  So my rides with her vary by day, and what we work on greatly depends on her mood.  So I've decided to break my ride up into different "sections" and talk about what I may do in each portion.  Keep in mind I don't do these all on the same day, but there's lots of picking and choosing from my toolbox each ride.

Warm Up
- Lots of walking on a long rein, doing lots of loopy, lateral work to get Molls moving.  This is probably our most usual warm up.  One of the easiest ways to get Mollie focused is to walk her on a long rein and leg yield away from and back to the wall.  I try to fit in four or five leg yields per long side (leg yield from quarter line to wall, switch bend, leg yield back to quarter line, change bend, leg yield back to the wall, etc.)
- Super collected walk on short reins with lots of technical exercises.  Sometimes I get on Molls and right off the bat her front end is six feet under.  She can be sooooo downhill at times that I really can't let her just plod around the ring like that so I put her right to work to get her forehand up.
- Human lunge line.  Then there are days I get on Mollie and she's a freight train with no brakes.  I've learned that there's no use fighting this, so I get up into a light seat, shorten up my reins, and sit on my horse while she basically lunges herself around the ring while I stay out of her way.  She will literally trot and canter herself until her hearts content and once she's done she brings herself back to a walk and we can actually be productive.

But first, let me take a selfie.

I'm calling this section the "body" of our ride because I relate all things to school and this would be like the "body" of our essay.  If I was writing one.  Which I basically am.
- Straightness: Lately in my riding I've gotten away from practicing "tricks" and am working more on straight, correct, riding.  It's amazing how crooked most horses are when you actually get down to it and discipline yourself to correcting it.
- Collection: Mollie would be perfectly happy to cruise around in her hunter pony frame all. day. long.  That would be fine if she was a hunter pony, but I demand prancy dressage-ness.  It takes tons of abs/core strength and control over my entire body to get her in self carriage but it's totally worth it.
- Suppling exercises: Anything under my "Exercise of the Week" posts are things that I regularly work on.

Fancy Prancing.  Ish.

Cool Out
Long reins, all the time.  Either just loopy figures (like figure eight circles) in the indoor or going outside for hacks around the property.
Fat horse makes fatter shadows.


  1. Your redheaded mare though a red head, I feel like is pretty damn good, or at least I like to pretend :)

    1. I have to admit, she is a very good girl the majority of the time. But it was along 13 years getting here :) I really wish blogging had been a thing I was into way back then because it would be crazy to look back to see what we were working on. She was such a green bean baby and I was so clueless.