Monthly Archives: March 2014

The Willow Show at Foxcroft!

I’m late posting this, but I don’t have regular access to internet to upload videos. Last Saturday we took Roadie and Willow over to Foxcroft for our first outing of the year. It was, for once, a beautiful day, and we were working in the indoor. The exercise set up was sort of an oblong figure-eight of poles. We warmed up over the poles at the trot and canter, changing direction alot and doing circles and stuff.

Willow is so clever. There isn’t any drama to report. You can just hear me saying “goooooood pOnnyyyyy!” alot. Cantering poles is hard work, though! There are moments where we lose our balance and have to trot and regroup, but that’s okay. She knows what she is supposed to do, and she tries really hard and learns really fast. We worked hard, but we took lots of long walk breaks, from which she always recovered really nicely and went right back to work.

It was so nice to do a little flatwork with the pony on level ground with good footing. The poles really got her relaxed and engaged, and she went along so happily. Katy said she always looks so pleased with herself. She felt great and looks great too. Wow pony!

Thanks to the weather/footing, we’ve only cantered a handful of times this year, and while the pony is really physically strong (yay hills and roads!) she isn’t as fit in her cardio, so we moved on to a little jump school before she wore out. We kept the fences teeny tiny, and worked on staying stay straight and balanced.

Right at the end, Katy told me to let her go in six rather than seven strides down the long side. “You’re not picking, but you’re almost picking,” she told me. And she’s right. I have a tendency to get too focused on having the horse collect and add rather than leave out a stride. “She’s not ready to do that,” Katy said. “With a pony you have to gallop.”

Willow easily made the six strides, and almost could have done it in five! It was a good adjustment and something for me to keep in mind going forward…. by that I mean “go forward!”

Thanks, Katy for your help, for filming, and for the hilarious video commentary!


Ponies versus Snowman

We got another 6-8 inches of snow this week, and Monday was Kate’s birthday. So before we went out for evening feed, we all gathered at the big house for chocolate cake, rice crispies treats, and tea. The hilarity that ensued as a result of dessert and caffeine before dinner included a snow ball fight, a sad phallic snowman, and lots of giggles. Turn up the sound and enjoy Katy’s videos.

Roadie versus the snowman. Snowman wins.

Pony versus the snowman. Pony wins.

As someone on Facebook said, the other horses are like “OMG a snowman!” and the pony is like “OMG carrots!”

Awesome Pony Flatwork!

Whew. What a week it’s been. We had some lovely sunny warm(ish) days, and then Wednesday a downpour and today high winds and 20 degree temps! Plus, it’s production week and I’ve been dealing with annoying technical failures, my back hurts and I don’t know why, I’ve not been sleeping well, and I have hardly seen the pony in two days! WAAAAH!

Okay, I’m done.

So, watch this video.

Now, watch this video.

What a difference, right?! Eeek! All those hours walking hills, working on connection, communication, and strength. Willow’s muscling and way of going has totally changed from November until this week. I’m beyond thrilled. Ms. Pony is so good!

She’s pushing more from her hind end and actually moving through her back and over her topline into my hand. Love it! She’s still got some work to do getting strong enough to hold it, and I need to look up and bring my shoulders back, but we’re getting there! Really it’s about keeping a steady, slightly slower pace, because while she’s got plenty of power, if she gets too quick, she falls out of balance, and vice versa.

Thanks to Katy for filming! She got some nice moments of us in long and low too but the video was too long and wouldn’t transfer. I love this part of a horse’s training, when they understand moving back to front, realize how nice it feels to stretch over their topline, and then all that strength training transfers into some really swell jumping!

We’ve penciled in another trip to Morningside for a schooling show at the beginning of April, and we have another couple fun outings planned in the next couple weeks. YAY PONY!