Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The (Forward) Path to Riding Well

I'm doing my best to get my head back in the metaphorical game. Alyssa and Redheadlins came out to play ponies on Sunday, which leaves me with some sweet pictures to share.

all the cool kids hollow the base of their neck and trot backward
We started out lazy and behind my leg. That's the go-to evasion for my wild racehorse. Seriously. Anyways. I haven't been riding great, so he's gotten a little worse about it. 

Between the added pressure of having a fancy camera on hand and the part where Lins was yelling "SMACK HIM WITH THE WHIP", I eventually figured that I should do, well, something.

At least it's uphill, am I right?

So we tried cantering.

My idea was to get him going forward and using his back and having that help us.

That is a really great plan if I had you know, ridden him forward.

When I just flop my reins in the wind and break the line from my elbow to the bit and sort of awkwardly bounce my hands off his mouth, it's not all that useful for anything.

But despite all that, we started to find some rhythm.

I got my reins (slightly) shorter and my hands (slightly) higher. As I started to ride better and expect more, he stepped up and gave more.

Need dis. All of it.
We're definitely a work in progress, but his nice moments are just. So.Nice.

I know he can do it. Now the onus is on me to step up my riding. Demand the forward and/or mix up our routine in a way that encourages us both to go forward.

It all starts there. That's the key to our transitions, our contact, and solid jumping. 


  1. What a transformation! I think that's been the most fun part of having a young horse for the first time for me. Gradually the moments get longer and longer, but they're no less sweet each time you get one, even when they become more normal, because you know all the work it took to get there.

    Looking good!

  2. You guys look great! And check out that muscle definition in his booty :)

  3. The answer is always forward! And leg, but really they are kinda the same thing.

  4. Yes for forward, he gets so fancy!

  5. You guys look adorbs as always, but I am loving that saddle pad!

  6. You have really been together for such a short period so along with working the forward don't forget to work on going easy on yourself. And go easy on him. Riding a green horse is massively harder to do than an experienced. I am not really one to talk because I used to beat myself up terribly and figured I was definitely screwing up this very capable horse. Now farther down the line I realize there is nothing harder to do than hold together a greeny with your riding.

  7. It's funny how forward is the answer to everything it seems! Lookin good!

  8. And you will make it! Great start! I love it that you already know what to work on - so the most difficult step is done! The last picture - yay :)

  9. He is looking so good! Keep going!

  10. That last pic is just plain awesome! It looks like it felt that way up there too, am I right?

    It seems like a lot of people I know are finding that their horse wants them to take charge, be in control and set the tone for the day. When they ride like they mean it, the horse responds to it, meets them halfway and it is what it should be.

  11. That last picture - gorgeous!!! I love the beautiful upward curve between his nose and tail! I know how hard that can be sometimes because Lady is similar. If I push harder forward she goes into a crazy Arab fit, but its usually because I'm just not riding well enough. When I get MY act together, she is usually an angel, albeit a naughty angel :P

  12. I used to have the same exact issues with Hemie (still do occasionally), which is so funny since they are ex-racehorses and I had originally worried about getting run away with. Eyes on the ground a real must and its so good you have Redhedlins to yell at you when you need it. I have to pay for all my yellings! =P

  13. LOL Yeah forward is vital! I need to work on that too. He looks so freaking awesome when he (and you) gets it right! :D


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