Great Expectations

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

A cancelled lesson…

Posted by mandyhuckins on April 21, 2009

I was sick yesterday, so this post was delayed a day.  I hoped to report on our second lesson with Emma Winter on Sunday, but unfortunately, it was cancelled due to the threat of foul weather that actually didn’t materialize until later in the evening.  Bummer.  But, “A” and I came out to the barn to ride Dancer anyway.  She was difficult for “A” to ride – not badly behaved necessarily, but just in that mood where she wasn’t giving anything up easily.  She didn’t want to relax, she didn’t want to come on the bit, she didn’t want to go forward, she kept popping out at the shoulder.  “A” did a good job of sticking with her and she was able to improve Dancer’s carriage by the end of the ride.  Sometimes, horses are like that.  They just have bad days and you have to ride the horse you have during that particular ride.

When it was my turn to get on, Dancer really let loose on the bad behavior.   Just like earlier in the week,it was asking for canter to the right that brough it on.  Here is a snapshot from the video clip of her acting ugly and trying to run the videographer over. 

whoa-apr-19-09

I wish I had more on tape, but when you have a 1300 pound horse leaping towards you with her blind eye facing you, you drop the camera and run!

After we worked through this little tantrum, she was actually quite nice.  Here is a still shots of trot and of canter to the right:

 

dancer-trot-2-apr-19-091

 

dancer-canter-apr-19-09

I love how her ears are turned out to the sides in these – that means she is listening to me and inwardly focused on the work I am asking her to do instead of paying attention to something off in the distance or pinning them back in frustration.  I like that I am sitting up straight and balanced in both gaits, but I need to keep my thumbs up (instead of turning them to the inside) and I still need to move my heel back under my hip a bit.  I was riding in my student’s saddle, so maybe that is why my stirrup has moved back.  Dancer’s back is up and she appears more “squashed” through the body instead of being strung out.  Progress? 

Compare the trot picture above to this one about a year ago in Germany (sorry for the poor quality – the lighting was bad):

dancer-trot-feb-28-08

See how much longer she looks here?  It is as if she is just throwing herself around instead of carrying herself on her hind end.  (And, look how I am being popped out of the saddle!)

Here is a sequence from yesterday during a period that felt “right” (although we were going to the left – ha, ha!):

  dancer-trot-4-apr-19-091

 

dancer-trot-3-apr-19-09

 

dancer-trot-5-apr-19-09

dancer-trot-6-apr-19-091

Pretty, no?

I still have concerns – I don’t like having to hold her. I don’t like that she is getting fussy.  I don’t like that huge muscle developing under her neck.  But, I am hoping I can have more times like the trot sequence directly above and fewer times like the very first picture in the post. 

We are nothing if not a work in progress.

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One Response to “A cancelled lesson…”

  1. Melissa said

    The last pics are just lovely, M! Keep up the good work.

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