Saturday, April 16, 2016

VIDEO: Our first ride in the outdoor arena

Heretofore I've worked Princess Fancy Pants either in the indoor arena (basic ground work, long-lining, and walking under saddle and going/stopping/steering) or on my little trails. I like the trails because they encourage going forward and there's not too much to worry about with turning or circling - we just follow the trail. For our work on the trails we've done walk, trot, and some canter.

Today is a lovely day and so I dragged the arena in the morning when it was still damp with dew, and convinced Colin to pretty please come video me and the pony doing our first official ride in the outdoor arena. Seems like a no-big-deal kind of thing, but the arena has no walls (well, neither do the trails, to be fair) and it is dressage court-sized so there's always a corner that needs to be turned or a circle that needs to be made.

Here's the pony:

She did so well on her right turns! For the short amount of work I did with her in the covered arena, right turns were our nemesis. She leans on that right shoulder so I've been doing ground work to teach her how to bend through the rib cage going right and also trying to work on not popping out over that shoulder when going left.

Granted, she's very young still and so I don't expect too much, but I definitely notice progress! I think I cut out the one spook at the beginning where she notice the neighbor's irrigation going in his pastures. The total ride was about 20 minutes of walk and trot, but I highly doubt anyone but me is interested in that, so I pared it down to about five minutes of video.

We continue to work on trailer loading and had a very successful lesson last week. I'm in talks with the trailer manufacturer about what modifications I can make to the trailer because the butt bar is just a bit too high for her. I'm taking the trailer in next week for an annual check up so I'll see if they have any ideas on something they could fabricate. We also went trailer shopping today just in case....;-)

I noticed that the saddle pad slipped back as our ride went on. This is a new thing, so perhaps she's going through a growth spurt where she's growing up but not out? May try a different pad or combo thereof.

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