Thursday, November 3, 2011

Project Pony Swap - Mounted Finale, or I'm Glad My Horses Potty Under Saddle

The Finale was not any great, grand event.  In fact, it was actually quite dismal, so I asked for a re-ride (a little IEA humor, there).  The initial "Final Ride" was pretty terrible.  There were some okay moments, but I finally had to settle for "good enough."  I dismount, take Squeaks back to the barn, and the first thing he does once in the wash rack?  He pees, and he poops.  Fine.  I can't ride so well when I'm doing the pee-pee dance inside, either... but it did make me very glad that my horses have no compunctions about using the bathroom when under saddle.
On Saturday evening, we tried again.  Thankfully, this time Tiki did not have to pee, so the ride went much better.  The focus was pretty much the same as it had been in past rides - creating the same bend through the entire body,  asking him to carry himself, and minimize that damn head tilting.  While I never felt like we achieved that same great trot we had in our second ride, I *did* get to experience the newest thing Susan and Jen had worked on: a new phrase from Gigi about "cantering in a teacup," and this really cool thing where the horse collects when the rider closes the knee.  A redheaded Thoroughbred is the perfect horse for that sort of thing!  Sure enough, at the canter, I closed my knee, and Tiki sat down, really collecting himself.  It was very cool.

I didn't push for much more after the canter - just a little bit more trot and then cooling down.  Tiki's attendance was required the following day at an IEA show, so I didn't want to make him work *too* hard - just hard enough to be a good babysitter! =P

The last part of Project Pony Swap will be to give each other lessons on our own horses.  Not quite sure when we'll be able to work that one out.

And as a complete aside: getting up before 4AM absolutely sucks.