Friday, 28 April 2017

Birthday dumpling!

Ronald has his (completely made up because we'll never really know but we decided it was today so there we go) birthday today! Little pudding is 5!
To celebrate he played lunging and wore polo wraps for the first ever time! I only wrapped his front legs because I wanted to make sure he was happy with those rather than putting them all on and having a bucking bronco pony but I probably could have done the whole set because he really didn't care a dot. He lunged super nicely and got lots of cuddles from everyone (including lots of small children which he muchly enjoyed) and a stud muffin! Can't really ask for more on your birthday right?

Sunny also had a lunging session and did some super lovely stretching, he was even complimented by an instructor that had come to give V and O a lesson which made me secretly very proud lol.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

On and on we go

Beth came up on Monday and Ron had another session of work. We did a quick 10 minute lunge and then guess who popped on! ME! Yes, all 5'8" of me....on the 12.3hh pony. Yay for me!
He was super good, obviously balancing was a little trickier for him with me on than with Beth because although we weigh pretty much the same I am obviously much longer so my body does not move as swiftly with his if he happens to move quickly to one side. It was all good though, we had a couple of turns that I had to move really quickly to follow with so as not to off balance him but he was very well behaved. We definitely have the forward now and he is understanding leg cues. He even had a couple of nice little trots around which was super fun.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Aim of the game: Do less

On Friday, Beth and I had a riding lesson together, which has never happened before! Sam is away for the end of the month and I hadn't been able to schedule a lesson at the beginning of it so to keep with my goal of 2 lessons a month it was time to play with a riding school pony. We went to the same place I took my dad to on fathers day last year and had a flatwork lessons. The horse they put me on was called Moley (why do riding school ponies always have such shitty names?) and at 16.2 he was rather a smidge bigger than I'm used to riding!
The first thing the instructor commented on regarding my riding after we'd demonstrated a walk/trot/canter was that, particularly in canter, I'm doing too much of the work. He said if I'd stopped driving the canter so much with my hips that Moley would definitely have stopped cantering and that the horse needed to be doing more of the work. So the aim of the rest of the lesson was to loosen my hips and use my legs more effectively to keep forward motion while allowing my body to just go with the horse rather than doing all the work.
There was then a chunk of stirrupless work to get the feeling of really melting my hips into the saddle so then when I took my stirrups back I was better (not perfect, but better) at keeping my legs long and heavy and following with my seat rather than driving too much.
It was a really good lesson and I definitely would go back for more, we'll see how the schedule works out in future to try and fit some in.

Friday, 21 April 2017

And he's off!

Ron has taken the next level of his breaking in training and completely smashed it! Yesterday Beth came up so we could move onto lunging the ponykins under saddle. We started off with a regular lunge warm up then a little go around in side reins which obvi he took in his stride bc duh he's a pro at that now! Then we popped Beth on up and led him around for a bit. We ended up not lunging him per se as he preferred the idea of me being slightly ahead of him to start with so we took him around on a large circle introducing a leg aid to go with the vocal command he already knows and I gradually got further and further away from him until I was on the other end of the lunge line. He took surprisingly well to the leg commands and was able to respond appropriately to Beth's requests for walk and halt while I basically just worked as steering.
After a while I took the cavesson off and I won't lie I kind of expected him to just revert back to standing there and having no idea what to do but when Beth asked him for a walk he actually moved forward voluntarily and had a little stroll around off the lead.

Obviously not going to gung ho say the horse is broken in but I'm definitely feeling a lot more positive about the possibility of summer time hacks than I was 6 months ago, way to go Ronald!

Monday, 10 April 2017

Springing into action

See because it's spring right? So punny.
The ponies started their spring MOTs last week with a nice relaxing sports massage/myofascial release session on Tuesday and a pedicure on Thursday.

Massage therapist stole my ponies
They've also had fresh worm counts done which all came back clear (success!) so we just need to get a saddle fitting arranged soon and we're all done for a good while.
Both horses are also looking really good weights at the minute (Ron is actually not obese woo!) so I'm hoping we can maintain that as the grass comes through and not get too porky. Ron will actually be in work this year though so that should help with weight management.

Ron does not wish you to assess his weight because he does not believe in his new weight management regime thank you.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Keep on keeping on

It's been a busy work week this week but both ponies got worked a couple of times. On Monday I lunged Ron again then had a little sit on him and got led around a little.

Then had a little schooling session on Sunny in the little field, because it's finally dry enough to use as a riding area! He's getting much better at the bending malarkey and nailed his leg yields so well that we were leg yielding across the school to change the rein!

What happens when I put my phone on the fence. Hi Camera!
Then today we went for a little wander, Beth walked Ron and I rode Sunny and we went with L (from the top farm) on a short hack.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

It's getting a bit Ron-centric around here isn't it?

I promise Sunny is alive and well, he's doing great in fact he went on a hack yesterday and it was lovely and beautiful and he even managed to do some bending homework while we were out.

Ronald on the other hand is making great leaping bounds in his progress that are just much more blog worthy at the moment.
Like this

And this

And this


This was much more successful than last years attempt at sitting on him, he didn't seem at all worried, had no negative reaction at all and was completely accepting of everything that happened. There was no hesitation when he was asked to move forward under saddle and he was just completely relaxed about the whole thing. Clearly giving him more time was the right choice for him. We'll keep going with mounting and short walks for a little while then we can move onto lunging him under saddle before adding in stirrups and reins and go from there. I'm also going to have him checked over by the physio and saddler within the next month (along with Sunny) and we'll be all set for a busy summer!