Monday, April 6, 2015

Starting to prep

With my first clinic being on the 18th, it is time to start being really serious about riding.  Mia is coming along very nicely in dressage, it is really awesome compared to last year.  Our ride last week wasn't super reflective of that, but it really is coming along great.  When I rode last week, Mia had WAY too much energy.  I couldn't get her to just walk to warm up, she kept jigging and not listening let alone relax.  I finally kicked her into a trot and let her buzz around.  We did some figure 8's and then some tight figure 8's to get her to sharpen up and actually listen to the person on her back, she didn't want any of it for a while.  Any time I attempted to be even remotely soft in the reins she would take that as an indication to plow ahead and go faster and faster on her forehand.  Ah, no mare.  Eventually the tight figure 8's did the trick and she started to actually pay attention and listen to my legs and seat.

Once she started listening, I worked on getting her to stretch forward and down which she is getting the hang of.  We cantered to the left and it was quite nice.  We cantered to the right as the last thing on our list and Mia just could not brain.  Every single time I tried to give her a half of a pound of softness she would break forward into as much of a gallop as she absolutely could.  She refused to listen to my seat and I had to haul back on the reins to get her to go back into a trot.  Once in a trot she could not listen to my seat and wanted so badly for me to pull on her face because she was super happy to pull right back.

I tried a few tactics, I tried turning her into the wall every time she started to go faster.  I tried jerking the reins every time she tried taking off.  She would not settle so I went back to the small figure eights and worked exclusively on getting her to listen to my seat.  It took her a bit but finally she gave in and started listening to my seats and stopped pulling against my hands.  FINALLY!  After several laps of trot we tried a right lead canter which went well and then went to a left lead canter which while not exactly to the par we have been getting, was still pretty decent considering the ride we were having.  After all that work I finally let her have a good break and walked the sweaty girl until she was nice and cool and let her dry in front of a hay bag.  Ahh baby horses, make me want to scream sometimes.  I say that but App was SO much worse when he wanted to be.  Ugh, horses.

Lazy, lazy horses napping in the sun.  See TWH in the arena not napping in the sun.
SO headed back to the east coast Easter morning so I filled my time with listing stuff for sale.  I will be selling a LOT of stuff, hopefully I can find buyers for it all!  Budweiser beer steins, Nascar model cars, comic books, lots of nick knacks is the first wave to go, farm stuff will be next!

After lunch I grabbed Mia from the pasture, Wait.  That isn't totally true.  She was napping like she does all of the time.  I was able to walk up to her, pet her, put her halter on and then still had to convince her that it was time to get up.  Lazy horse.  I gave her a "day of beauty" which included pulling her mane over 2 inches shorter, scraping the caked mud off, brushing her tail out of the bag and rewrapping it and trimming the top of her tail.
Half through, looked GOOD I thought
I had hoped my Furminator would work like a tail rake and pull her tail but no such luck.  I started pulling her tail but lordy it takes forever!  I figured since we have a month before our show, I would try trimming it and it was looking really good!  Was.  Then K showed up as I was finishing up the left side and Mia turned abruptly to see and VOOP there goes a good chunk on her dock that I was leaving.  Damn it all!  It looks super crappy now after what I had to do to "even it up".  I couldn't even bring myself to take a picture, maybe I will later, grrr.

Pretty with a pulled mane
The very last step was to trim the 3 inch section of bridle path and she was done.  Thankfully I had tested this back in February and she was perfect, this would be over in 2 seconds.  Except it wasn't.  Mia had a meltdown, she did NOT want me to clip her bridle path and let me know ALL about it.  She threw me a couple of times, she shot backwards countless times, she kept her ears pinned and once I actually thought she was thinking of trying to bite me.  Uhhh, mare?  It took 45 minutes, FORTY FIVE MINUTES for me to get it done and she was NOT happy about it.  I even tried the tried and true method of "oh, be good?  Treat!" and she didn't care.  How odd.  She let me rub her ears and head all over and stick my fingers in her ears, I am not quite sure why she was so opposed.   She was better on her right side than her left but still fought me really hard.  Okay on her face and neck but not near her ears.  Guess what we are doing every night this week now :D

Tonight will be a dressage night and hopefully by Wednesday I will put up some jumps.  I have 2 weeks until my first clinic and I will be riding dressage with M and riding cross country with a new instructor B, the same set of people we actually rode with at this same clinic last year.  Hoping for some good progress, we have a show season to be ready for!


  1. Irish would get like that- he just had to 'go'. I think you handled it really well.

  2. How weird about clipping her bridlepath!! The fact that you could touch everything, even inside her ears, must mean it couldn't be a pain thing... so I wonder why she was so against the whole idea? Weird mare!

    She's super cute though!!!! :D