Monday, March 14, 2011

Ponies, Pole Patterns, and Pinched Whithers

Cadence may have today off, but I don't.  Later on today I'm off to ride Arty and Majik.  I rode Arty for the first time in forever on Saturday.  After I'd had my lesson, stopped at the tack shops, and updated the blog I was thoroughly out of things to do.  Well, I could have cleaned the house, done schoolwork, etc. but none of that really appealed to me!  So I stopped off at Brenda's to see if she'd ridden the pony yet.  Luckily, she hadn't.  Unfortunately for me, my impulse decision making meant that I'd left Arty's bridle (which I'd brought home in January) at home, so I had to ride in his old hackamore.  When I first got on him, he was terrible.  It felt like I was riding him for the first time again, except he knew how to circle.  When we trotted I was half halting every second or third stride, desperately attempting to keep him in a trot.  It took us twenty half-halts to get from trot to walk.  Impressive, eh?  He was as tense as could be, and had his nose up in the air.
After my initial assessment (which he failed) we spent a long time working on transitions.  Walk, halt, walk, halt, walk, halt (cont'd) trot, walk, halt, walk, halt, walk, halt, walk, trot, walk, halt, walk, trot, walk, trot.  I think you get the picture.  This was done on a relatively small circle, which gradually got larger.  By the end, it was four-six half halts from walk to halt, and four to twelve (depending on whether we were heading at the wall) from trot to walk.  After a little canter work, and one bolt (Galloping inour little arena? Bad idea.) he was feeling a lot better, so I took him over a teeny crossrail.  It was like a switch flipped: The pony was back!  We worked over the X a couple more times, then I set up a teeny gymnastic.   It went X (one stride) pole (bounce) Cavaletti.  We worked this a couple times both directions, and called it quits.  Arty hasn't had much work recently, (a trail ride once a week, if that) so I didn't want to push him much.  Still, I was very pleased with his jumping.  Good pony!
On Sunday, I tried both of the saddles I'd gotten for the mare, and both seemed to pinch her.  Gahh, TB shoulders.  Anyhow, we ended up riding in the dressage saddle and goofing around with the Western Pleasure people.  We rode a couple of patterns, and except for one little throw-my-outside-shoulder incident, she was fantastic!  I also put her in a Sprenger KK Ultra with an 18mm cannon.  She went fantastically in it.  Unfortunately, that bit costs about $150 :(  Expensive little mare.  I think that if I end up getting it, I'll go with a 20mm cannon instead.  She could use the extra softness!

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