I Should Only Ride Once Per Week…

March 6, 2009 at 3:22 pm Leave a comment

As mentioned over on ‘the other side’ (aka Rosey’s blog) I mentioned the excellent ride I had on Afton last night.  After that, though, it was the redhead’s turn.

I’m beginning to think that I should only ride once per week- it seems like the first ride back always goes exceptionally well, despite lack of practice.  Or maybe it’s just that Klondike’s essential nature is sort-of-lazy, so if he’s had a week off there’s more energy to work with? Who knows.

Just going out to get him proved to be a bit of an adventure.  There is a VERY heavily pregnant mare in the neighboring field, which is on the side of a hill.  I had only gotten a third of the way to Klondike when I noticed said enormous mare rolling- which is super cute, since she’s like a giant bouncy ball with legs.  Then she rolled all the way over, onto her other side, which I thought was an incredible feat for such a large mare.

Unfortunately, once she did that, her legs were pointed uphill.  And she couldn’t seem to manage flipping herself back over.  Getting up just wasn’t happening- on that angle, she couldn’t get her legs underneath herself for the leverage she needed.  So, I tried to help.  Except that I had no clue exactly what to do, other than yell down to the barn that Giant Mare was stuck.  On what?  Her giant belly. 

With some assistance, she got up and is no worse for the wear, and I have no reason to talk about it at all except that the image of her enormous belly, legs pointed sort of in the air, and the look on her face makes me giggle a little bit.  She seemed really offended that I wasn’t fixing it right away. 

But in other news, I did eventually get to Klondike, who was more than happy to come in and be loved on. 

Under saddle I again thought mostly about working on me.  Klon is super-comfortable to ride, so I often find myself riding like I’m in an easy chair.  I practiced keeping my leg more underneath me, while also keeping some energy and impulsion.  Klon has been practicing for Western Pleasure, so he wasn’t so amused when I demanded more of a forward trot.  There may have even been some tail swishing 🙂

For kicks, I also set up a little crossrail- nothing big or interesting, just a single jump.  Of course, I had to park Klondike while I dragged poles around, and I have to say he is an excellent parker.  He’ll just stand right there, perfectly still, watching you while you do whatever it is you’re doing.  Once the jump was set up, I gave him a little cluck, and without me even touching the reins, he followed me back to the mounting block so we could get back to work.


Over the jump, I mostly wanted to think about waiting with my upper body and keeping my hips from ever getting ahead of the pommel.  Easier said than done, as always!  We trotted the jump a few times, and it’s much harder for me to wait when trotting, but I came close a few times.  Then we cantered and switched direction, and eventually I managed to figure things out a little.

Klondike’s jump is so smooth that there’s not much to really push you out of the saddle- you could probably sit straight up and never leave the saddle, and it wouldn’t even be jarring.  So on that side of things, it was sort of hard to find the right place.  But after a few times over it, I thought about just letting go with my hands and forcing myself to balance without his neck, which seemed to iron out some of the issues I was having.

Through the whole little session, Klondike acted like an old school pony. “ok, you’re working on stuff up there? Just point me to it, lady, and I’ll do my best not to shake things up!!!”

We did get some really hideous bad spots (oops. I’ve said it before- my eye is *not* good), but he kept trucking- if we met a really bad distance, he’d just step over.  But once I had my parts working more properly, we came just *one* more time, and it was pretty much perfect. 

Hopefully this weekend we’ll have some video snippets 🙂


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Breakfast in Bed Switchum Ponies!

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