Wednesday, 15 June 2016

The value of a good coach

My last lesson focused on straightening the wonder pony and learning to address the position of her shoulders (left shoulder in particular) in a more consistent manner. Basically, Savvy and I are doing alright, but coach thinks Savvy is ready for me to expect more from her.

Connection is slowly becoming more consistent, although still lots of head bobbing moments.
I have diligently been doing my homework, practicing shoulder in and haunches in, as well as shoulder in on the 10 meter circle. I could only do riding at the walk this past week as it has been raining a lot and the outdoor arena footing is questionable - not that Savvy and I were ready to trot any of this yet anyways. There were good moments and then some more awkward moments where Savvy would throw a fit and do a mini lipizzaner jump. She is definitely not one to supress her opinions.

 I must say Savvy felt really good this lesson. I thought I had good inside bend and her trot work was relaxed with a lovely long stride.

It was all going well until coach asked us to do a bit more complicated exercise at the same time the farrier showed up in the barn. Combine the distraction of sounds in the barn and the increase in difficulty and I basically had a high-headed, hallow-backed mare who was acting like she simply could not.

Finally has a thinking and working frame of mind after a little help
 from a training ride by my coach.
Coach asked to get on (yay! I love when she offers!) and started asking Savvy for inside bend and to ignore the farrier. When she moved up to trot, Savvy gave her the "I simply cannot" trot that is more of a strange shuffle with her head high. It did not take long though and coach had her bending, lengthening, and fully on task. I love a coach that can help you out with a mini training ride.

20-meter circle with left bend - asking her to 'almost' leg yield outward
to encourage that left hind foot to reach.
I really just wanted to sit back and watch coach make my pony be amazing for the rest of the lesson, but instead she gave her back to me to try again. This time I upped my expectations. I just watched Savvy totally do the thing she had convinced me she couldn't do.

I learned something interesting today: Knowing it is in there (seeing my coach asking for more and getting it) made it much easier for me to expect a better result from her. You really have to believe it to make it happen!


  1. Looking good in that last picture! Nice that you have coach that can show you what Savvy is capable of at this moment in training...

    1. It is always an eye-opener when I see coach ride Savvy. I think I might be guilty of babying her a little bit. :)

  2. Savvy's really looking great! and what a cool feeling to have her so quickly back in a working frame of mind after the quick training ride! that's definitely a very useful tool to have on hand :)

    1. Yes, it is exactly what I need right now - seeing how C rides in the tough spots and what she does with her hands and legs. Just hearing instructions wasn't working, but seeing it really helped!

  3. Having a coach that will ride your horse is really an amazing thing! Savvy looks wonderful :)

    1. Yup, she's pretty much not allowed to move or quit teaching because I need her!! :P