Wednesday, March 18, 2015

A Good Day for the Irish

(This post is high on photos and low on content. You're welcome.)
The last couple of weeks have been booked pretty solid. Between school and trying to get in the training rides necessary to feel ready for the show the first of April, there hasn't been a whole ton of time to sit and write a post.
There's barely been enough time for this ... 
Of course, in the mean time the weather has changed from this:
Much snow dog. So vicious. Rawr. :)
And this:
Off leash huskies = winning at life
To this:
The whole road. No ice. It's Miracle Town.
And very recently, this:
The ground! I see it! Maybe it really IS March!
Speaking of March, yesterday was St. Patrick's Day. In true overwhelmed Adult Ammy/Student Style, I celebrated decking my Irish horse and my Irish heritage self out in green and went riding instead of to the bar. One redhead and one pale kid, coming right up!
Don't let this photo fool you. It was actually something like 35° yesterday. My hands went numb from cold.
The luck of the Irish must have been with us. We had a brilliant ride. It was our first day back in the outdoor ring, and no unforseen spooks could be detected. Pig was buttery in the bridle the whole time, and his back was very round.

We worked through all the trot work from the new 2-2 test, with good results. I even continued through the walk work and had nicely marching turns on the haunches. Feeling pretty good, we sauntered on into the canter work, where I decided to take advantage of a good day by working on some 3rd Level stuff.

Guys. It's coming along.

We've been working really hard on developing more through outside half halts, and yesterday they came through for us. When I had a really nicely bouncy and through canter, I did a volte teardrop back to the wall and counter cantered a 15m half circle. Just as we straightened onto the opposite wall, I asked Pig for a change.

We got it. Immediately. A beautiful and balanced change on the aids. Best of all? It felt correct, and Pig didn't even pop out of the bridle.

After a short rest, I tested my luck with the other direction. The canter departs to the right are tougher for us, so I expected this change to be a little rougher, and it was. We repeated the exercise, and this time I focused hard on connecting my new outside rein to my halt halting outside seatbone, and BAM we got another really nice change.

Who is this horse?

We ended the whole ride by working a little bit of canter half pass. It's been coming along so well, I just wanted to fiddle with keeping the shoulder angle a little more stable. Sometimes when Pig gets really excited, he launches sideways off my leg, and ends up throwing his haunches too far into the movement.

By keeping my reins short, and keeping that outside half halt connected (instead of throwing it away) I was able to keep control of Pig's shoulders. When I do that, the half pass starts to be all about developing jump in the canter, instead of a strung out movement a little on the forehand. It's amazing. Five minutes of half pass work in each direction, and we called it a day. You don't want to mess around with a ride like that!

Unfortunately, the video I set up didn't work out. So you'll have to make do with this video clip from a ride back in January...
A video posted by @northfuzz on

I'm still throwing away my contact here, and not effectively half halting on the outside (and let's not even mention my weird chicken elbow thing...). Still, the angle is pretty good, and Pig is obviously very willing and plenty capable. I just have to keep rising to his level.
Hopefully I get there by the time the show comes around. If we have a ride like we did yesterday, we have a really great chance at some good scores!

31 comments:

  1. YAY! Definitely sounds like there was a lot of good yesterday, so awesome :)
    I had no idea you had huskies! They are my dream dog for sure!

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    1. Loooove huskies! Gotta stay active, though, and I don't recommend that you have them off leash. They are notorious runaways. Mine are trained within an inch of their life, and they still needed a e-collar to finish up their off-leash training.

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  2. You make it sound so magical. Someday I'll be there.

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  3. Love your Saint Patrick's outfit! I also love watching video of y'all because it helps me connect what you're writing to what is happening.

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    1. Thanks! I like having video to speak to for just that reason. Plus, it helps me see exactly where I went wrong and maybe remember what that moment felt like under saddle. That way when I go back to work on it, I can put together the visual, the lesson, and the muscle memory!

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  4. Yay for good rides!!! I love when it all just comes together. I'm excited to hear about your show!

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    1. Good rides are the best! Fingers crossed for the show!

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  5. Awesome!!! Love how everything is coming together for you two :)

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    1. It's been a journey, for sure. I bet our next ride is terrible! ;)

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  6. YAY redhead! So awesome. I love soft rides.

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    1. Me too!! Give me soft and sensitive any day!

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  7. Replies
    1. Thanks! It is really the flashiest color for chestnuts!

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  8. sounds like the best kind of ride - congrats!! super excited to see you put it all together at shows!!

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    1. I'm just hoping we do manage to put it together. ;)

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  9. Woohoo! Good luck at the show!

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    1. Thanks! I'm collecting all this luck you guys are sending me. Hopefully it works out. :)

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  10. Replies
    1. Maybe I need to find a green dressage pad...?

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  11. I'm so glad that you had a good ride! I'm sure that you and Pig will do awesome at the show :)

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  12. Love the matchy green! Sound like you two are having some great lightbulb moments. :)

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  13. Hurrah for good rides a d double hurrah for off leash huskies!

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    1. Yay! Thanks so much for your tips! It's like a whole new world for these guys. :)

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  14. Oh yikes! You wore short sleeves in 35 degree weather??? Crazy person! Hehe. I love your dogs by the way. :D

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  15. Belatedly catching up after my crazy week, love the green & the fact Guinness was super awesome for our national day ♡♡♡

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    1. Go Irish, even those of us who are expats (you and Pig) and those with just a lot of Irish blood (me!)!

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    2. Go Irish, even those of us who are expats (you and Pig) and those with just a lot of Irish blood (me!)!

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