Sunday, November 22, 2015

Arena Time for the Trail Pony

On Wednesday of this past week something odd happened. My daughter had a test in all her classes that day (poor thing), which meant no homework. And no colorguard after school. My daughter was free for the evening. And the arena was dry at the barn. Soooo...of course I recruit her to video a ride for me since I have no trainer observing whats going on with my riding. Not that we are in any sort of training regimen. But is it nice to know that your pony tries his best to respond to your aids and even though I can feel his response I want to see what we look like. 

First of all, Razz has essentially been a trail horse for almost two years. We enjoy an occasional jumping round but it's mostly been stress free sand kickin'. Don't expect to see a nice, round, compliant dressage pony. And if your the type to beat people up with comments insulting their eq then you can leave this blog now because I was 32 years old when I had my first legit dressage lesson and there's certain things about my self taught seat that just aren't gonna change at this point in the game. I know what my riding faults are concerning proper english flatwork, my previous trainer explained everything to me. That being said, let's carry on with how things went.

My horse hates flatwork with a passion. I believe it just bores him to no end. He loves to jump though. Once I got tacked up and in the ring we walked a couple laps in each direction to loosen up and let Razz get his mind in "arena mode". We've ridden in here only a handful of times. Most of the time the footing was super sloppy due to all the rain. And today there was a large rain cloud headed our way. I had about a half hour to get a good ride in. When I was ready to begin working I started on the left lead. That is my boy's better side. We trot a couple laps and I have to constantly bump him with my heels to keep him in a working pace. He gives me a hard time on the first pass of the in gate. We then do a few canter laps down the long side of the ring before having a couple 20 meter circles (or something resembling 20 meter circles) on the far end. After our circles we went down the long side again in an extended canter/hand gallop type of thing. I click to my pony for a trot and kiss for a canter so you will probably catch some of that in the audio.

I then switch my diagonal and whip for the right lead and we use the same pattern of trot, canter, 20 meter, and extended canter on this side. At one point a military jet flies over in this clip. There is a Marine Corps Air Station maybe 10 minutes from here and everyone (people, domesticated critters, & wildlife) is used to the heavy air traffic. 

The wind is picking up now, which means the rain cloud is getting closer and I decide we are ready to jump. Someone else had been in here recently popping over a few randomly placed obstacles. I left everything as it was and jumped the only pole actually set in standards. It was originally an oxer but the front pole was knocked down. I moved it and my sweater (tossed on the pole when I got warm) out of the way. Eyes up and canter, here we go. As we begin Razz is bouncy in the hind end and his tail is swishy. I know in his head he's thinking about a small buck but he doesn't give me one. We line up for the jump and I speak to him letting him know to get himself ready. There were some poles on the ground setting me up for a two stride take off. Razz is a notorious chipper and the ground poles really make a difference. I'm not sure how high the jump was, probably 2'6" give or take. We sailed right over. It felt really nice. We go around two more times. It's all about fun for us. 

We then trot a few more laps down the long side in either direction before cooling out. The first few sprinkles are coming when we head back to the barn. Razz isn't clipped and he's a bit sweaty. And his cooler is in my garage at home so I put him up in his stall to enjoy his fruit salad of carrots and apples. As he's munching i am brushing and toweling him off until I feel comfortable turning him back out. He will come in later for dinner but there's still a little time to enjoy with his pals in turn out. All in all I am happy with the ride. No we won't be picked to represent the U.S. in any format anytime soon, but that doesn't matter to me. I have a healthy pony, a nice farm to ride at, a daughter that doesn't mind accompanying me to the barn, and today life is good. After the barn we go to our favorite restaurant for dinner and bring something home for the hubs. And that rain cloud? Lets just say I made a good call riding on Wednesday, because Thursday we got 7 inches of rain.


  1. Hi! New reader here. :-) I have no horse of my own, so I stalk other horse blogs to get my fix :-) Sounds like you had a fun time playing around....and that's all that matters; you had fun. :-D

    1. Hey there Jennifer!! Thanks so much for reading and introducing yourself :)