October 24, 2010

The deluge begins...

I love, love, love having an indoor arena that is fully protected from the wind and rain! Yes, the rainy season has officially arrived in the PNW. However, at least we have shelter and properly constructed paddocks this winter. Warm tinglies all over!

I had a great afternoon at the barn working with Rose, who continues to be calm and happy. Given that today was our "Monday" (she has Thu, Fri, Sat off), that statement means a lot. I was able to put her straight in the cross ties where she behaved like a lady, then we went to work and she picked right up where we left on on Wednesday. She was such a good girl!

We have been working on moving straight and balanced. Originally I had spent a lot of time working her on circles and serpentines, and pretty much anything other than the rail. Last month it became clear that she wasn't really listening to my aids and didn't really have steering. Instead she had simply gotten used to moving on a circle, and throwing her shoulder out and falling in badly in both directions. The fix? We have been working on moving straight at the walk, trot, halt. She seem to be mastering the downward transitions at last and is finally moving straight, and going deep into corners instead of cutting in and throwing her shoulder out. So it seemed time to move on to the next step. This past week I started cantering her on the rail as well. On Wednesday we got one whole length of the arena in both directions without her falling in and trying to cut across the area and ended there. I was curious where we'd be today. Well, Miss Thing is such a smarty when she want's to be and picked right up where we left off. We CAN canter in a straight line. It still needs much more practice, but she's got the idea at last! In addition, once we get going nice and straight and balanced on the rail, with downward transitions, then we finish up our session riding 20M circles at the walk, trot, halt. Guess what? She's balanced and not throwing her shoulder in! I am so proud of my girl.

After our ride, I pampered Miss Thing until she was far beyond cooled off and dry. It was time to throw evening feed so I put her back out in her paddock and then went about my chores. After I was all done I went to say goodbye, expecting that I wouldn't actually see her since it was POURING rain. Well, wouldn't you know it, she was standing right by the gate. In the POURING rain! Diva at least had the sense to go hang out in their giant dry loafing shed full of hay. Maybe Rose decided that she needed a bath? Seriously, if you zoom in to the photo, you can actually see the rain beading off of her. Silly pony.

Have a great Monday everyone...and if you are in my neck of the woods, stay dry!

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