Friday, February 15, 2013

One Week Off and One Week On.

I finally got to ride today.  My pony hadn't been ridden since I last rode her on Thursday.  I lunged her, and she was actually quite sensible.  She had a few blow up moments on the lunge line when other horses whinnied (a call to action perhaps?) or entered the arena, but she was otherwise very lovely.

We started out going to the left.  Ick.  Ugh.  We're doing something wrong.  I kept going back to the walk to figure out what it was.  At the walk, she was reaching nicely into contact and stepping forward most of the time.  As soon as we trotted down a long side, I could feel her body disconnect.  My inside foot was banging the arena wall, her head was up and twisted.  I had NO horse between my reins.  I sat deep, pushed her forward and tried to stay steady on my outside rein.  Nothing worked.  It was awful feeling.  I kept trying to come back to walk to figure out what it was, but she was fine at the walk.

It did feel like we couldn't turn.  I would turn my body, keep my outside rein steady and she would plow right through me.  It felt like I was using too much inside leg, but can you ever use too much inside leg?  Was my outside rein just not steady?  Was it me or was she blowing off my outside rein?  And what the hell do I do when she blows off my outside rein???  I didn't have a lesson so I was on my own.

I gave up trying to fight her on it since I didn't know what it was I was feeling.  I made a mental note to ask my trainer about it at my next lesson.  We changed directions and went to the right.  And IT WAS MAGICAL!!  Dreamy!  Amazing!  Reaching into contact.  Mostly straight (c'mon, we can't be perfect) lifting up her back.  It was gorgeous.

We did that for a while, making large circles and small circles, me grinning like an idiot.  Then we went back to the left.  Nope.  Hot mess returned.

Back to the right?  Ooooh, dressage pony.

I still don't know exactly what it was.  If anyone has felt this or can tell me what you can to do feel if it's an outside rein issue I'd appreciate it.

In other news, the pony had an entire week off.  I've had one lesson all month.  But this weekend that's gonna change.  'Cause I'm riding in another jump clinic with Marc Grandia.  I did say that I didn't want to jump this time, but I wouldn't mind working on position and ground poles.  Mainly because I have only ridden about four times since 2013 started and I'm painfully out of shape and low on confidence.  But I'm riding Saturday AND Sunday and then in my regular Monday lesson. 

I'm hoping to sort out this wiggly business and also see if we can't make headway on the right lead canter.  We just can't get it consistently and I don't know why.  I'll bet it's that pesky outside rein/inside leg business again.......


  1. When that happens to me, I'm either uneven in my seat - to the outside, and collapsing on the inside. Try lengthening your inside "side".

    If you have mirrors, ride straight on to one and compare your stirrup/leg lengths and the heights of your shoulders. No mirrors here but I've been inspecting photos and video.

    Glad you're back in the saddle. :D

  2. I am laterally unbalanced from one side to the other as a result of a riding accident a few years back, and with my green pony, that slowly manifested itself in him becoming completely one-sided and "not being able" to turn left just like you've described. I'm not sure if you read my blog or not, but the whole painful process is on there. It took a couple of months, beginning with me not riding him for a month and instead lunging him in a side reins and a Horse Hugger to rebalance his muscles, and then gradually riding again with a whole new emphasis on straightness. I don't think Tessa is anywhere near as bad as Connor was, but some of the concepts we worked on might help you, let me know if you're interested.