Friday, June 4, 2010

No Lesson But Still A Great Ride

It's that time of year where my world becomes busier than I like and I travel often for work. I'll be going all over the US in the next 52 days and I'll only be home for 18 of them.

So I worry about things like Ollie's retraining which will obviously be put on hold for a while and making sure Toby's feet are looked after because I must stay on top of that. I was very disappointed when I had to cancel this week's lesson due to some work conflicts. So I tried my best to work my boys without an educated eye watching us and telling me to sit back, be steady with the outside rein, praise him (I do praise them often), etc.

I rode Toby first. He's become very fun to ride lately. Especially after we have done some canter work. Something about the cantering gets his body warmed up and flexible.

Here we are just starting out with some trot work


He was pretty good warming up at the trot and tried for me but I know the key is to canter a little bit first


and now look at our trot after he's cantered for a little bit


I like that photo because I can see that I've lost weight (21 lbs so far).

But Toby looks SO GOOD in this photo that it makes me burst with pride


My old guy was a rock star!


Then I got Ollie out for some work. He's a bit anxious in the beginning with his head up like a giraffe. Eventually he'll settle down and start to focus on the work. I didn't have the treeless saddle available so I had to use my old saddle and pad it up (3 pads!). It seemed to work fine but I can't wait for the new saddle to arrive.

Here are a few shots when he started behaving like a little rock star for me


and here


I have some more pictures but I haven't gotten them up yet. They would be the "I'm a giraffe" shots which I really don't like to remember but it is part of the story. He just doesn't like to give his jaw to the bit at all when I ask. So I'm working on it and the second he does relax his jaw he's praised. It's not unlike how Toby began and look at how he is now!

Ollie got his "you're a good boy" pats and was cooled out.


The minute Ollie started to relax and work with me I let him know that he was being a rock star. He responded by giving me more and we marched around the arena in a beautiful frame with little to no fussing at all. I just kept telling him "Good boy Ollie! You're a rock star!" with a lot of inflection in my voice and patting him while leaving the bit in his mouth alone. He loves that and I start to relax which helps him too. Photos are good to see for my own benefit too!

I was so thrilled with both my boys. Hopefully we'll get through my busy months and pick up where we've left off here. It was such a good day.


  1. Wow - 21 lbs.? That's huge; fantastic! I hope you hadn't bought your wedding dress yet!

    (And the boys look good, too. ;-)

  2. Congrats on the 21lbs! That is awesome... Glad you had a good ride with both boys! That last picture of you and Ollie is really great!

  3. Ditto from me on the weight loss!! AND, congratulations on the excellent rides. Sometimes the boys need to "think about" their lessons, too, so time off is not always a bad thing. My OTTB does better after a nice canter, too. We do a lot of walking on the buckle--about 10 minutes' worth--and then we canter, doing circles, cantering forward and back, spirals, etc., in both directions.

    His trot is ALWAYS better. Not so much "sewing machine" steps but more "moving out."

    Keep up the good work on ALL fronts ;o)

    You look terrific!!

  4. Hey Michelle - I did get the wedding dress but it still needs some alterations.

    Thanks everyone for your encouraging words. TBDancer you are right. Many times my horses go much better after I've given them these "forced vacations". I always appreciate your words too. Thanks for the comments.

    Laura - I love that last picture of me and Ollie too!

  5. What a BEAUTIFUL gown! And you will be a beautiful bride! Date set? What sort of headpiece did you select?

    Inquiring minds. ;o)

  6. ok - details..........

    Date: 9/5/2010
    City: Lexington, KY
    Headpiece: none chosen and not even thought about :O

    It'll be a garden wedding and my color/flowers are sunflowers with purple flowers too.

    My sister is my maid of honor. My little nieces (8 and 10) will be the flower girls (they are SO excited about it).

    The wedding is small - less than 50 guests

    that's all I know so far. YIKES! So much more to do!!

  7. Thanks for sharing some details with us. It's fun to imagine - especially since mine happened 26 years ago!

  8. The last picture of you and Ollie is stunning. Great photography.