Thursday, September 8, 2011

It Was A Full Day

What a day I had!  It had been raining for several days now and I haven't ridden Ollie in over a week let alone poor Toby.

So I made arrangements for a riding lesson at my instructors farm next week.  That meant two things...1) I had to ride Ollie and practice cantering (we have the world's worst departs) and 2) I had to test Ollie out in my new (used) horse trailer.  I decided to do both today with the help from my husband.   Matt is truly a good guy!

I rode Ollie and I asked Matt to video our horribleness.

This is what I'm proud about in the video - Ollie stands like a rock at the mounting block.  No more "throwing it into reverse" the minute my foot hits the stirrup.  Also, I think I'm sitting up more and I'm slowly getting my legs more underneath me.  Best of all, I can see that Ollie likes me and tries for me.  His ears flick back and forth constantly listening to me and he hardly protests my pathetic seat.  I LOVE THIS HORSE!

What I'm not proud about is that I bounce around on his back like a jumping bean!  Poor Ollie!  Having said that, he's never back sore.   But I bet he's wishing I didn't have that second helping of yummy pasta the other night.  :)

So Ollie and I are practicing and I'm not afraid to show how we're doing.  Our canter departs couldn't be worse but he have to start somewhere.  This is why I take lessons. 

Ollie and I are trying hard and we'll get there! 

After our ride, I hitched up the trailer by myself and loaded up Ollie.  He's a rockstar about loading onto a trailer.  We drove around a country block (several miles) and came back home.  He pooped up a storm and was sweating but otherwise he was no worse for wear.  Toby greeted him loudly and Ollie answered.  Those two are total BFF's.    I figure that Ollie will relax more for the trip the more we do it.  So next week we're off to our trainers farm and our lesson.  I can't wait!


  1. I noticed two things watching your video: First, in canter at first you were a bit of a jumping bean like you said but then you settled and your seat was moving nicely with him. You are well on your way. Second, Ollie looks very happy in the whole video. You two clearly have a big connection. Oh, and third - he looks like he is stepping under nicely at trot. All sorts of good things - not to mention that he is beautiful as well. Enjoy your lesson! I'm jealous -

  2. Thanks Annette! Those were super nice things to say!

  3. Having been in the same predicament with the canter departs (ahem ;o), I can make a couple of suggestions that my trainers used on me (and which helped). First, try sitting a few steps of the trot before asking for canter. If he begins to speed up at the trot and then "races" into canter, you are in a better place to control that speed. Rise a few steps, then sit some more. Then, when you sit, ask for the canter when the outside shoulder is back (or when you would be sitting during the posting trot). That cue happens when the inside hind is on the ground. It takes the first "step" in the canter depart, and so you are asking at the correct time.

    Second (and here again, we're "twins" ;o), don't rock with your upper body. Annette is correct. Once you stop "jumping bean," your canter seat is very nice. A trainer once told me, "sink your weight into your heels." That made me have a "heavy seat" too, and my rocking stopped.

    You ARE working hard and you make a BEAUTIFUL pair. Ollie will "get it" because he DOES try for you.

    And I agree with Annette here, too: I'M JEALOUS!!

  4. if you watch the video closely you will see that when you ask for the canter her pulls on you and speeds into his trot rather than that canter. You need to imagine building a wall in front of your horse with your hands so that you are holding his front while your seat and legs are pushing him into the canter. Are you able to take lessons on a school horse? That helps tremendously! Learning on a green horse is very tough.

  5. You are very courageous to put up a video on your blog! I wish I had as much guts as you. Luckily, you will get the advantage of hearing different hints from all over the country. That said, I think you are building a great foundation with Ollie and he looks very focused and eager to please. You've got a good one!!

    Laura Wright

  6. I agree with Annette. You do settle into it. And I think it's hard to ride when they run into the canter. I also loved how his ears seemed to tune into you, and he seems only to want to please.
    Also, I ride similarly. All those riders who make it look effortless astound me.

  7. - Thanks for your kind words. All I can say is that I'm trying hard! LOL! I, too, am astounding at how easy good riders make it look. Then again, I can go into a trot-canter transition on my other horse and it's as easy as pie... My older horse and I know each other very very well.