My blogging has not been great lately. I've been pretty busy with work, parenting, the pony and working on our boat. I'm a little bit behind in my reading too. If I'm not commenting, it doesn't mean I'm not stalking your blog, it just means I don't have time to comment. Especially with the stupid word verification that they have now. That adds an extra twenty minutes and twenty cuss words to every time I want to comment. So, I'm here. I'm paying attention. I'm still loving all your blogs and all your ponies.
Another absence is the running martingale all last week. And she only had one training ride all week. Which meant that by Sunday, she had learned how to raise her head and try to bash me in the nose while sucking back and scooting out from underneath me. The joys of trying to do your own training when you really shouldn't. For about a minute, I felt really crappy. Then I realized that we have years to figure this out and she's been wearing a running martingale for two months. So, I'm going to have Leila ride her with no martingale and I will continue to ride in the martingale. In another month, I will try another week without the martingale and see where we are at.
I have learned something critical in my last two lessons about focus. Focus on what you want and let everything else go. I have tendency to change focuses about a hundred times, depending on what Tessa is doing. The problem with this, is that Tessa has the idea that she's the one that decides what we're going to focus on. That and she's probably getting confused since I do things like ask for a haunches in and then when she spooks, change to asking for forward and then when she sucks back change to asking for shoulders in and then when she balks change to asking for her to get off my leg. Poor, confused pony.
So I have two things that I am focusing on. One big overall goal and then whatever I am working on for that ride. Last night's ride was another lesson in forward. We did some haunches in and Linda put down trot poles, but my main goal was forward and anytime anything interfered with forward I had to let it go and get back to forward. If we had forward, we could work on the haunches but if we lost forward then we went right back to it.
By the way, I love trot poles. LOVE< LOVE< LOVE trot poles. I think it's because my brain had to get outside of myself and stop nit picking. Just get forward and go over the poles. I think Tessa liked them to and she did super well. I want to use poles ALL THE TIME. They need to write a dressage test that includes trotting over poles. Who do I need to write to about this? I mean, c'mon. There's Western Dressage now, why can't there be Dressage With Poles?
So then there's my big focus and this is the one that I have to always, always keep in the back of my head. My big focus is to gain confidence. Someone asked me yesterday what my plan was with my horse and after stuttering and stumbling and shrugging, I finally said "To have confidence in her and have her have confidence in me. That way we can try anything we want to." So, anything that makes my confidence worse, goes out the window. That means, I put the damn martingale back on. Why? Because it gives me confidence and I need confidence more than I need to be able to ride without a martingale. It means I'm going to ask someone to help me to clip her back feet so I can see that she's quiet about it. It will give me confidence. It means when I feel the need to lunge her, I will lunge her. Even if everyone says she's fine. I will treat my confidence the same way I treat forward. There's no need to work on confidence all the time, but if there isn't any, then I need to go back until there is.
I don't have any good pony pictures, but I will say that my horse is THE CLEANEST GRAY HORSE ON THE PLANET. I gave her a full bath on Friday and turned her out WET and she does not have a spot of mud on her. Weird. Amazing. A little freaky.
Here is a picture of the sunset from our marina and our boat at a local public dock on the one day it's been sunny this year.