Wednesday, October 28, 2015


I still have absolutely no clue what I was doing, demonstrating or talking about in this photo.  I'm not even completely sure who took the photo, friends of A. who was riding the horse behind Fox in this photo. Maybe I was pointing out the George Morris para-troopers who were coming down to do an equestrian fashionista critique, who knows! Regardless I had the best time at the Dom Schramm clinic last weekend.

Superhubs,  who I wrangled in to being the photographer/videographer for the weekend (videos to follow when I have time to get it uploaded)and I went over to the clinic about mid-morning since my session wasn't until 3pm. We settled the pony in his stall(I know, I know an extravagant luxury to get a day stall but I didn't want Fox standing tied all day if I could help it.) then we mainly watched the other riders.

Soon enough it was time to get changed from my jeans and t-shirt in to my riding clothes.  Usually I don't stress about dressing for a competition, a lesson or a clinic. But for some reason, the weather wasn't helping with it's flip flopping, I couldn't decide what to wear. So when in doubt throw it all in the bag. I had no less than two pairs of breeches, three shirts, two pairs of socks and just in case extra underwear. However I did forget the belt that goes with my breeches and had to make the belt on my jeans, which didn't fit tightly enough on my mid-waist breeches, since my jeans hung significantly lower.

Fox's wardrobe was also a victim of my over packing. I packed two bridles, two saddle pads, both my half chaps and long boots and various other things including the Super Pony's favorite cookies. I swear he is a cookie FREAK! Just see the previous post about the ring around the mounting block because of the cookie I had in my pocket!

So when I went to change I was conflicted about which of the two shirts I'd narrowed it down to two choices since the weather had warmed a bit. It was going to be either my white Tredstep Airsilk shirt or the Romfh competition shirt.  Both were meant for warm weather, fairly form fitting. But the Tredstep was a little, I'm not even sure how to put it other than it fit snugly enough that bits of my chest that aren't meant to be obvious, were obvious and I am NOT well endowed.  But the Romfh shirt had this disco-esk collar when it's not all wrapped up like a choker.

So flaunting what little assets I had or looking like a 70's reject?  I decided that I was being an idiot and just threw on the Romfh, thinking, JUST OWN IT!

So with the wardrobe issues figured out I proceeded on to more significant worries. Would my usually well behaved away from home pony behave in front of the big time professional?

He did, sort of.  We were practicing one of our three new tools, lengthenings and shortenings within the trot when I believe Fox thought I was asking him to canter at which point he leaped in to it a little too enthusiastically.  Again I thought OWN IT!  I made him keep cantering then politely circled him at the end of the arena and brought him back down to a trot.  Naughty pony! The other two tools that are now in our tool box is the Ideal and Effect Pressure tool.  Which I knew about but just hadn't really been practicing like I should have.  As in when he ignores your leg, use a sharper leg, a spur, or light whip tap behind my leg to get him thinking more about being quick off my aids.

The last tool, which I'm really excited about is something that will help Fox come over and through his back, lower his neck and generally teach him to go in a soft, correct frame.  It's a combination of slight inside flexion, while pressing down with the outside rein.  It sound strange but it WORKS!

So thank you Dom Schramm for filling up my winter tool box!!

Dom was demonstrating a tool here but I can't recall which one. Until the next adventure, keep it between the flags everyone!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Performance Anxiety

It's been about three weeks since I've swung a leg over the red pony's back and months since I've ridden him on my own property.  Now why, when my pony is right outside my back door, would I not ride him at home?  Because he's been a freaking naughty brat every time I've ridden him at home for months.

He's also stealth naughty.  The High Queen would always send me a pre-naughtiness memo before actual naughty behavior ensued.  Her neck would stretch up, ears darting forward, llama impressions began and THEN she would grab the bit and try to run off with me.

Fox is a whole different box of bad pony.  He just does random naughty things, a buck here, shying there, grabbing the bit and running off.  At least previously he has.  Off the property (with one notable exception being the farm just down the road) Fox is 98% angel and 2% demon pony.  On the farm the percentages are totally reversed.

Or they were.  Yesterday I managed to get home with plenty of time to spare. I ran in to the house, flinging work stuff and throwing off work clothes as fast as possible so I could get tacked up and ride before I lost the daylight.

I had a trunkful of anxiety when I finally swung in to the saddle.  Which was made harder by the fact that I had two horse cookies in my breeches pocket. And Fox knew it. So he kept trying twist in circles to nudge my pockets as I kept spinning around the mounting block trying to get in the saddle.  Damn you HORSE COOKIES!

But I was finally able to swing up. My intention was to keep it low key, walking only, I know I'm a chicken, but I really needed a good ride more than I needed a productive one.  But Fox was perfect.  He never felt, even for an instant that he had any naughty thoughts going on.  I jabbered like a lemur the whole time trying to distract myself from the possibility of Fox managing to ditch me out of the saddle.  It didn't happen.  We even did several dressage-y trot circles.  Earlier I had set-up some baby cross rails in some far flung hope of hopping over them but I felt like that would be pushing my luck way to far.

I got what I wanted a nice, easy ride on a happy pony which made me one happy, happy girl!

Keep it between the flags everyone!