Winning the battle = winning the war

So after my aforementioned war with Oats on Sunday about lateral work, and moving off my right leg with out a major hissy fit, I was …concerned about how Tuesday’s semi-private dressage lesson would go.

Good or bad?

Well, it actually went pretty well! Turns out that having ‘it out’ with Oats on Sunday and making him do his homework actually made our lesson on Tuesday much smoother. He was moving off my right leg (finally!) with minor disagreements, he was a bit locked up on the right throughout the whole ride but nothing terrible, he was just better on the left, haha.

So, we warmed up with head-to-the wall leg yields left first and then right, and then worked on some trot work with a big bend and a leg yield (we kind of sucked at this to be honest), and then canter work that loosened Oats up and let him move forward (much better at this). He was starting to get kind of balky and rude at the trot, and the looser canter sort of let him ‘let go’ of his attitude.

We ended on the left, with a squeezy trot and big deep low neck, to a canter transition, back to the squeezy trot. I was pretty impressed with his attitude towards this work, and as Karen noticed, his endurance is improving. Ie- his hissy fits and temper tantrums are more minimal, and start happening much later in the ride, rather than halfway through, which was more typical.

So, progress people! I’ll take it!

Good pony Oats.

Holiday Countdown: T-3 days (struggling!!)

Gah, my cold has definitely made it’s presence known. Work is a struggle, my cold is a struggle, I didn’t feel well enough to go to the gym today (so tired and stuffed up, and coughing up gross stuff, yes I didn’t want to be that person at the gym!!).

Me right now

Me right now

I went to this new sandwich shop ‘Meat and Bread’ for lunch and got a porchetta sandwich and Fentiman’s ‘Curious Cola’…It was good, but the porchetta was super fatty. I really dislike fatty bits of meat, so I was a bit blah on that. Sauce- salsa verde, was good. Overall…Not sure if I would go again, just because I’m a bit ‘blah’ on sandwiches.

Riding lesson last night? Oh man, I was not feeling super optimistic as I was going through the ‘blahs’ with work/cold/tired and true to my predictions…It was a challenging ride. QUITE challenging.

We were trying to get more contact at the trot, and through his right rein, he FOUGHT. He struggled! He was tired! He hopped up and down! He balked!

It was pretty tough. Not gonna lie, it was really mentally exhausting for me. I was constantly worried- is this enough? Too much? Am I headed for the big EFF YOU of an Oats mega-buck??? (seriously, that is what it felt like, oh jesus, it was difficult).

His hops up and down didn’t lead to the mega-buck though. I got clutchy and anxious, and raised my hands up when he did that…Even though his reactions didn’t go to a buck, I started reacting like he MIGHT buck. Every time!

Apparently what we are asking is tough- really hard for Oats. He was having a tough time reaching forward with his right hind, so he reacted by ‘hopping’ into the canter, and pulling his head forward, saying ‘I need more length! My neck can’t move!’ and of course the hops.

So, while it was very difficult and mentally tiring, he never got to the BIG TEMPER TANTRUM point that he has *often* done with me. True he got fussy and jumped up in the air about three times, but we more or less ‘overcame’ those and worked through it…And he didn’t get to do the BIG EXPLOSION at all!

Apparently this is a positive direction, what he is offering isn’t correct, but it’s not his nasty ‘eff you!’ either…

I do recall reaching this point earlier a few weeks ago, and then we kind of plateaued, and then he got nasty, and then he plateaued…So I don’t think this is ‘nasty’ it’s more like this is tough, tricky!

I got off, and felt fried! But, also like I still managed to accomplish something, which definitely does NOT happen every lesson. Also, I didn’t fall off so that is accomplishing something in my mind as well 🙂

Oats got a new rain sheet for his Christmas present, and also he is enjoying candy canes after each ride. No ride tonight- I’m exhausted and am going to see a movie, but we do have a lesson tomorrow.