Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Brrr, its cold out here

Last night it got down into the forties overnight, so it was the first night the pony wore her sheet. Grayson and I decided that anytime it gets below 65 we are going to keep a sheet on her. Sarah has some Ace left over from when Moose was hurt, so if we do end up needing to clip her, we can use that. I'd rather just keep her blanketed early so that she doesn't grow a winter coat anyway.

She is still in season so she was very hot, but not as hot as yesterday. Therefore I just got on and was sure to warm her up slowly since it was still so cold this morning. The ring was still a little sloppy from the thunderstorm last night, so that was taken into account when we began work.

During most of my ride the pony was frustratingly focused on the field with Peppy in it for most of the time. Grayson mentioned that she spent most of the day yesterday pacing back and forth at the walk and trot when her friends were at the bottom of their field. Because she barely ate after my ride this morning, and was more concerned with where all her friends were (at least until Grayson threw her hay), we decided that we would keep her in most of the day, and she will get turned out for 4-5 hours in the afternoon. She is also now getting a scoop and half of feed twice a day, and a full scoop of weight gain. She looks like she runs off most of the calories she consumes out in the field, rather than consuming more.

The pony is consistently carrying herself on the bit now, supple and relaxed. At the same time, as soon as she is asked for more, whether it be more flexion from the poll, more bend or whatever, she tenses up and feels like a ball of energy ready to explode from behind the bit. I was getting frustrated from her lack of attention to my hands and my legs (swapping leads down the long side, which she hasn't done since July, and running through my aids while focusing on the horses in the field), and I wasn't wearing spurs, so I asked Sarah to get on and work through the issues since I felt that I was too frustrated.

She spent the first five minutes of her ride on a loose rein at the walk, using her dressage whip to keep the pony's mind focused on the job at hand rather than the horses in the other field. She faced a small punishment each time she lost focus. Sarah then proceeded to work her in the trot, really trying to get her to loosen her back and stay supple in her frame really getting her to bend around her leg and let her back swing loosely. She is carrying herself in more of a first level frame these days, which is impressive considering how long she has been at this (three weeks?). I'm looking forward to getting more video so you can all see how drastic her improvement is. I've been looking up dressage shows in the area, and I think I'd like to compete her at training level, and I'd like to maybe have Bonnie or Sarah ride her through a first level test to get her some more mileage. She has so much potential, I just want her to be exposed in every atmosphere possible.

I added a short video of Sarah's ride from my phone, excuse the poor quality.

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