Great Expectations

or “My Life in Blog Sounds Much Cooler Than It Really Is”

A new trick and something cute…

Posted by mandyhuckins on April 16, 2009

Tonight, Dancer learned a new (bad) trick.  In response to the collecting and reaching under work I have been asking her to do, which should have the effect of lightening her in the front and having her carry more of her weight on her back end, she started popping up with her front feet.  I HATE that!  And, I don’t want her to be THAT light in the front.

This was happening when I asked for the canter.  In the past, I did have a some trouble with her getting worked up when asked to canter, but I ended up chalking that up to excess energy.  This is just disobedience and evasion (I think).  At one point, she was so nervous and upset, that when I asked for right lead canter, she used the pressure from my left leg as an excuse to go into a pseudo reining spin/canter pirouette.  While it was kind of cool in a way, it was very bad behavior on her part.  I was able to stop her with a strong voice command and then she stood, tense and blowing.  It was like she was saying, “I can’t do it momma – it is hard and I don’t know how.”  So, we went back to calm trotting for a moment to clear our minds and once she was settled and I asked for canter, she gave it to me with no problem. 

At the beginning of my ride, she was so heavy in my hands – she really wanted me to hold her head and neck up for her.  She was also very, very difficult to keep straight.  I kept trying to lighten her and get her to hold the position for herself.  By the end of the ride, we had achieved that – and it was a great feeling.  We also were able to do a few shoulder-ins at the trot.

After my ride, my adult dressage student “A” came for her lesson.  Something has really clicked for her (maybe it is the confidence being able to do a little canter has given her) and I think she had her best ride ever on Tempo.  He was soft, engaged, round and dare I say, using his hind end like a real horse.  It was a beautiful thing.  She did have a nice canter (to the right – his bad side!)  A very experienced rider at our farm took him to an event over the weekend as her horse had hurt his eye.  She really worked him hard on the flat trying to improve his transitions, his straightness, his roundness and his overall relaxation.  She admitted that he can be a very challenging horse to ride in dressage – although he is a push-button jumper.  He really needs consistent work on the flat.  She was there and watched A’s ride and was very impressed.  I wish I would have had my camera – although, given my success in filming lately, it probably wouldn’t have mattered.

In shopping news – look what will soon be arriving from Smartpak:









Aren’t these too cute?  And, for $12.95, who could resist?  I agonized for quite a while about which color/design to order (I was drawn to a pair of pink ones with little horses in blankets called “Preppy Ponies”), but I decided that I couldn’t beat the versatility of black and khaki.  I love flip-flops – yay summer!


2 Responses to “A new trick and something cute…”

  1. Vanessa said

    Cute flip-flops! Definitely my favorite footwear for spring and summer!

  2. Lori said

    You are good…I SO would have gone for the Preppy Ponies!!!

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