Here there be dragons...

"I'm telling you stories. Trust me." - Winterson

The return of Superpony!

(taken from GRS Blog

The superpony is back! I wonder how long she'll stick around for this time?

So amazing dr lesson on Tues. Didn't ride Wed cause she had some weird puffiness where the girth should go. Well that and both pony and I were zonked (although *I* at least had the excuse of having gone running at lunch :) Thurs puffiness was less and when I squished it she didn't really care so figured I'd ride anyways -- not as though I ever have my girth tight to begin with >;-P She was still pretty tired but amazingly good. Rode for all of about 20 mins. Hopped over some tiny things, and then untacked and let her graze for the rest of our "work" time :) Everybody needs a day like that once in a while.

This am I get her out and hop on and she's still in lazy mode. hmmmmm either dr lesson was far more intense than it felt (don't really believe that since she wasn't giving any "I'm tired" signs - which are usually pretty obvious, subtlety is not her strong suit - while we were there) or she's just chilled this week with the more civilized weather or whatever. We trotted around for a bit admittedly putting fairly little effort into our warmup. So coach comes out (with not one but TWO incredibly cute bouncing fluffballs :) and has us do some basic trot work - but not nearly as intense as it generally is (maybe we got excused cause I told him we did dr on Tues?). Ok forward into the canter and he wants me shifting between two and three point -- a valid and useful exercise except that I was expecting dressage and my stirrups were approximately 5 holes too long for that. Pulled up after all of about two strides "if we're going to play this game can I shorten my stirrups?" (of course already doing so by the time I finished asking the question -- which really translated to, are we going back to dressage after we run around?) I got a laugh and a nod so I figured that meant no dressage for us today. Altogether now: awwwwwwww. So we do a few laps alternating between a canter and a hand-gallop with focus pretty much entirely on my position (he made one little shift that made such a huge diff -- esp once we got to the jumping aspect of things! -- one of those "well why didn't somebody point this out 10 yrs ago?" sheesh. hahaha but it's all good. Now I just have to be able to replicate!)

So I warm the pony up over random fences (thank Epona she's still being a saint :) while my coach builds our one and only fence for the day. Very nice hogsback, not particularly high - maybe entry level? "Ok, jump that at 350mpm". Hey wait a sec -- since when were we deemed to be where accuracy is expected? What happened to being please with simply getting from point A to point B without losing our little mind? Almost as bad as DQ coach asking for a circle and just expecting it would be 20m. hahaha no. My circles are random sizes (albeit I do aim for round!) unless otherwise specified. Funny, from that moment on (and that moment was several months ago) all circle sizes have been specified. >;-P

Ok but back to today - jump that at 350mpm. This is not particularly challenging since I default to 350mpm and therefore Sienna is very comfortable jumping at that pace :) So yeah, no problem. Did it a couple times both ways consistently. All good. Then it's 450 down the long side, 350 around the corner, 300 to and over the fence. Ummm 300? We can trot 300 >;-P @ least when she's in zoomy mode we can. So the 350-450 increase was np (and as we did this multiple times over the lesson by the end we could even do it w/o falling on the forehand. Yeah us :), and back to 350 also ok (450 around the short end of that ring is a little terrifying so self-preservation kicks in @ some point). Back to 300 worked. For a stride or two. Then we trotted. Yeah pony can jump entry oxers out of a trot >;-P "Don't worry, I'll do it better next time," I assured my coach as we cantered away. Sometimes you just don't need to hear the analysis. hahaha. The next time with a touch more leg we kept the 300. Was still a really icky jump, but at least on pace and in the right gait. Then we just played with different combos -- 450 long, 350 short, 400 jump. Can she go forward and come back on command and can I keep whatever pace he wants me to keep consistently. There were a few cases where coming back took longer than it technically should've :) The 450 - 300 jump (ie long gallop to coffin) took an extra try (1st time we trotted) but we did get it :)

But what really had me so excited was that by the end she was jumping beautifully out of whatever pace we were in, and more importantly, LANDING in the same rhythm. Woohoo!!! And most of those fences had her little knees up around her ears :)

I will say though, after more than half an hour of cantering and galloping (albeit slowly) on the pony who wasn't particularly high to begin with, both of us were pretty zonked. And I definitely did not end up going for my run today. hahaha I think some more fitness is required for both of us; actually I think I just need to pick up another horse to ride. One at a time just isn't cutting it.

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