Friday, 2 June 2017

A Whole New Vibe

There has been a huge shift in things since my derby experience. I knew it would be a great building block in her training but there is a definite trickle effect happening. Everything is just a little bit easier in all aspects.

Feeling pretty sure we could maybe do this.

Heading off to a lesson for example would previously involve some stomach flips on route and then a careful routine of settling in at the arena before mounting up. This time? Ha! Savvy and I were relaxed and I happily hopped up without all the usual prechecks as to her mental state. Kind of a "my horse is broke--lets get to work" attitude.

Learning curve struggles
The biggest shift is Savvy's jumping confidence. I feel like we have turned a corner on this front. Now when we approach a new fence, she knows her responsibility to jump it. Up until now, it seemed like she did not really believe that some things were meant to be jumped. We certainly went through a rough patch where she would need to stop and evaluate the situation and no amount of leg or crop could change her mind. Conquering that little pre-entry xc course initiated a shift in both our minds--I know I can ride her to the jump with purpose and she knows she can do the thing once we get there.

Discovering hard does not = impossible
I made a simple course yesterday with a couple of new jumps and planned to do our flat work and possibly try one or two jumps and see how it went.

Warmup was a bit of a disaster to start. She was so tense (which is pretty common at home but this was particularly bad, wtf?) all we could do was stilted pony trot. I set up the four poles on a large circle and attempted to work through it and get her softening. After finally getting some moments of relaxation, we started canter on the same circle and wheels fell off in all directions. She could absolutely NOT do her right lead, ever, at all, right leg must have fallen off kind of bad.

For the first time ever, I looked at that barrel and thought 'small'. Also, I need to make more standards.
So of course I abandoned flat work and just went and had fun with jumps because, obv?

Savvy came to this in front of my leg and happy to do her job. :)
She was great. Right leg reappeared and now could do that lead. AND, jumped all the new jumps without even hesitating. She is a beast.

I was kind of sure the tires would get a side eye, but were not an issue at all!
Why can't we flat work at home? Maybe I should reverse the program, jump first and flat second, haha. I don't know. The only time we can do trot/canter work in a relaxed manner is away from home. Hopefully the hot summer weather that surely is on its way will help me out so I can work on quality at home. For my next derby I really want to put in a greater effort in our dressage test. Perhaps now that we know how to derby, we can try to be a bit competitive next time. 


  1. eeeee i love this and i love those jumps! and i love that feeling when suddenly the whole game starts feeling "routine" - like the horse gets it, the plan makes sense, everyone is on board with what's about to go down. that's absolutely the feeling i thrive on and require to build confidence in the work. that's really when things really start getting exciting :D

    also tho, yea my horse has the worst rides in our home arena too. wtf indeed. the gate/barn sourness issue is REAL omg.

    1. I know, it is such a great place to be! I am really liking that feeling approaching a jump knowing much more now of how to ride it for Savvy to be able to do her best. AND then to trust her to try! I still kind of worry, but probably more out of habit at this point than true uncertainty. :)

  2. Good work! You should be proud of yourself. :

  3. New to your blog! Hello! You never know, changing up your routine might be the ticket!

    1. Welcome! Yes, I definitely need to think about what I am doing in my warmup and how I react when she is tense. Thinking about it, when she is tense out at an event I just let the reins loose and breath and that really helps her. At home I am more just 'do the thing horse, I don't have all day'. Perhaps my impatience could be the culprit, idk.

  4. This is so great! Give yourself a big pat on the back :)