Simple Changes are Complex

One of my big goals with O pony is to get her lead changes down pat. She’s got some pretty sweet flying changes in there, however the connection of doing them when I ask…still pretty fuzzy to her. We’ve come a long way and she does now feel when she’s wrong which is progress. However, she usually gets either 1. Super flippin’ pumped about it if she does the flying change and runs away with me or 2. Changes in the front and then can’t figure out her back end.

Both issues are directly related to me not setting her up properly.

So when I had my equitation lesson yesterday I asked my trainer to ignore O, and really drill me about my upper body, my following (or rather not-so-following) hands, and what messages I was sending to my horse. Trainer was totally game…and proceeded to breakdown my issues one by one…which took 45 minutes because apparently there are a lot if eq issues going in. Yikes. By the time we got to the end of her list, O had dozed off in the middle of the ring.

Sum up: my hands/wrists are broken (therefore I can say nothing to my horse via contact), my upper body is closed and hunched, and I don’t know how to give with my arms instead of my shoulders. Therefore I wiggle. And now my horse is wiggly too. Awesome.

At the end of our break down and analysis I felt like a total disaster, but had a really good idea of tons of things to work on. We decided since I needed the most help with the changes, that I could do a few of those before we called it a day. We were aiming at nice, soft, simple changes with zero rushing or loud upper body moves.

So I tried out this new thing called leaning back, rode in the driving rein, and tucked my tailbone under. My core was screaming after just a few laps, but the important thing is I suddenly had a more soft horse who was going straight, and accepted the half halts like a boss. We did a few simple changes until she started anticipating and she tried the flying (opps). We had some super rough rounds where she threw her head all over the place, and I got hunchback of notre dameish during the simple change. However, we did have one really awesome flying one that came from her hind end and was so nice. After than she got major loves and got to be done. Lesson time total: 1 hour 30 minutes. And I have a ton of homework to do.

In other news, the pony was kind of stiffly moving, and I feel like I dug a whole sheet of ice out of her feet. Anyway she got some bute after our ride to see if that made her more comfy. Since it was half frozen I got creative and iced a horse cookie with it.

Horse wants cookie…


Horse considers something tastes funny…


Horse figures out too late that cookie has been tampered with.


Horse gives me the evil eye for tricking her.


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