Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Horse show?!?

RB4 is working out wonderfully and is coming out 3-4 times a week to ride.  As a result both the horses and I are starting to get fit again.  I have a lesson scheduled for Saturday on the TWH and am working hard to get him in shape for it.  I am really looking forward to the lesson, here's to hoping it goes better than the last anyway.

The nightly rides are going well, RB4 had a really good ride on the App last night.  The first time she rode him, I forgot to give her an encouragement stick so he was slow and unresponsive.  She didn't really enjoy the ride and was a bit frustrated with him.  The second ride went much better as she brought the stick, she was impressed with him and enjoyed the ride much more.  This third ride, however, he really showed his skills.  She said she was very easily able to work on herself without managing him.  She was impressed with the ease that he can do a shoulder in and how he can collect himself without much effort.  She was able to do changes of direction with a shift of balance and he was responsive to her seat.  She commented several times how she liked the TWH but the App was now quickly gaining favor.  Go Chip!  He can be such a rock star when he wants to be.

I rode the TWH, working mostly on pushing from behind and staying in gait.  Lots of serpentines, spirals and small circles to get him to push forward while trotting.  Overall the ride went well though we did have several sticky points.  His pacy self kept showing through and at one point I had to give him a good hard kick to get the point across that he shouldn't pace when I ask for a trot.  I know it will come back, it is just frustrating that I let riding lapse so he isn't behaving like he did back in October.  At the end we worked on our trot-canter and canter-trot transitions, these are the hardest and most important for showing.  After a few attempts the trot-canter went smoothly though we still have work to do in the canter-trot transitions.  Only once did he give me the canter-trot without more than 2 steps of pace, the rest of the time it was a quarter to half of a circle of pace before picking up the trot.  It was hard to get it last year, I am sure it will be hard to get it this year.

On another note, there is possibly a horse show I will go to!  There is a dressage show about 1.5 hours away on March 18th and then there is a CT (combined test, it's eventing) show on April 1st.  I am going to talk to the instructor about both to see what her thoughts are.  I can only do one of them and am free for both dates to attend either.  Now I have something to work towards, we have work to do!

Dirty ponies playing in the snow.
Don't mind the TWH trying to look like a paint.


  1. My vote would be for the dressage show since they had so much time off. I know the CT would be more fun, but that's not much time to get them back into shape for jumping . . . I've been reading a book on equine fitness (will blog about it soon) and I never realized how long it takes them to get fit. Cardiovascular is quick and easy, but muscle, tendons and bone takes a lot longer and those are the things that need to be strong in order to avoid injury. The book isn't that expensive on Amazon. It's called Equine Fitness by Jec Aristotle Ballou. It's been extremely interesting and I've even been applying some of it to my own fitness training lol. I'm glad the boys are doing so well. Good luck at whichever show you choose!

  2. You are very correct, I haven't been jumping at all since November and it would be very unfair to do a jumping show already. Thanks for reminding me to rethink priorities! I do in fact know how to get them fit, I was just being too anxious. If I go, I will go to the dressage show. Let's see how things go tomorrow!

  3. I figured you did know how to get them fit since you do eventing. :) I've never competed (always just trail riding) so I was never really worried about fitness (although I should have been even for a trail horse) so this book has been really interesting. I've learned so much and I'm not even halfway through. It gives really good workout routines too. I hope you get to go to the show! Good luck!