Thursday, June 16, 2011

Two Rides and a Question for the Viewing Audience

I've managed to get in two more rides this week.  Tuesday I rode Bonnie, I had full intentions on riding Rosie but I just couldn't bring myself to be up for that battle.  I really just wanted to ride, if you know what I mean.

This was Bonnie's third ride since October, and second ride bitless.  It was a cool 70 F degrees outside, very low humidity, blue skies and light breeze.  Absolutely beautiful weather again.  Bonnie was up, even called out once, very unusual behavior for her.

My goals for Bonnie is slow her down, have her relaxed at all gaits no matter what I do.  She will become my youngest sons mount this summer and I'm hoping he will be able to to do a walk/jog/lope class at a fun show this fall.

Bonnie and I are really liking this whole no.bit.thing.  Second ride and I'm only find small holes in our training and would be comfortable letting my son ride her now at walk/jog.  She is responding immediately to me when I pick up my rein hand and slows or halts depending on how high.  One handed neck right with very little motion.  She's still high headed but as long as I wait her out and just be as relaxed as I possibly can she does relax nicely

I didn't ride at all yesterday, but today after work I decided to try my hand with mother nature and hoped to get a ride in on Rosie without any lightening.   It started to rain just as  I pulling into the farm's lot, clouds looking a bit ugly but by the time I got changed into m breeches and boots it was clearing up.

I didn't waste time with much grooming, just dried her a bit with a towel and tacked up.  Did some leading work in the outdoor then up I went.  It was starting to rain just a bit.  Nice warm rain enough to keep the bugs at bay.

My riding goal today was bending at both walk and medium trot, and immediately catch her when she starts to power through my hands and direct her in a different direction.

I set my course up in half of the arena.  I created a square with barrels and cones, put 5 weave poles down just off center, and two ground poles on the long side.  I walked the course first, bending her both inside and outside by lifting the rein and tipping her nose in that direction until she loosened up her neck and was... um pliable is the right word here.  Half halts through the seat, and then moving up into that marching active walk.   I was being very active with my seat and hands moving with her with contact but no resistance.  I was rewarded with her back coming up and using those powerful hindquarters.  I think you could have seem my smile from the moon!

Gently ask for the trot and she immediately stiffened against my hands. I caught that first pull probably two steps into it before I sent her into a circle.  I kept that inside rein raised up a bit so that she had to tip her nose in and bend around my inside leg as soon as she stopped leaning on the bit I released the circle but not my contact.  With-in three steps she started pulling against my contact again - rinse.repeat on the circle but this time I asked for more forward and WOW rhythm !!  I released the circle and that was the last of the pulling for today.   The rest of the ride was non-eventful.  Lots of walk/trot trot/halt trot/walk walk/halt transitions.  I didn't ride long, just about 15 minutes then lightening was close enough to chase me inside the barn to untack.

Ok now a question for any Dressage people who are reading.

I'm showing her in a Dressage show July 16.  I will be cleaning her mane up, but I am not cutting or pulling it short, just more even.  So the question is "The Braid" what would you do ?

Running Braid or French Braid (My friend Sydney's blog - great read)


  1. Hm. With the shape and musculature of her neck, I think the scallop braid would look really awesome on her.

  2. Wow! For only riding 15 minutes you got a lot done.


  3. Well done on your work with Rosie, sounds like you had a great ride on her!

    With regards on the dressage I personally would go with a running plait, which is what I will use with my New Forest pony. I think the others are a bit 'busy' and may detract from Rosie's lovely head carriage. I would also check the rules for the dressage as I don't think a weave is allowed (in the UK anyway!).

  4. Running braid. It's very acceptable in a dressage ring. It allows the judge to see your horses topline properly. Make sense?

  5. I vote for the running braid also, just like the looks of it....know really nothing about dressage but do like the look of that braid!

  6. Being a western trail rider, I know nothing about braids. I'm sure you'll both look great.


  7. Great sessions with both horses. You must be so happy that Bonnie is shaping up so well for your son. Rosie sounds like so much fun - and getting her to raise her back and use her hindquarters! I wish I could get you to ride Rogo!
    At the dressage shows I attend people use a French braid for horses with thick, long manes like Rosie's. I like the looks of the weave and scallop braid, but haven't seen them used in a dressage show - doesn't mean they couldn't be. Maybe someone in your area could advise? I like the running braid least of all, but it's just a matter of personal taste. I haven't seen it used in a dressage show, but I have heard running and French braid used interchangabley, both meaning the French braid as you have in the picture.
    Be sure to post pictures of your braiding when you do it!

  8. I have no idea which braid to choose, but just had to say the weave is amazing. I can picture a medieval lady sitting on that horse...

  9. For the show, I think a running braid would look best.
    I'm really digging the scallop braid. That's a new one to me. I've seen the weave before and it's beautiful, but it sure looks like a LOT of work.


Happy Trails!