Tools For Dressage, Attack Mode Jumping, And 2Pointober 2015!

Despite the unfriendly forecast, I have managed to fit in three rides so far this week! Hurricane Joaquin has dictated that today will be Dino's day off, but so far it's been a pretty normal week of training for the EuroPony.

On Tuesday I popped over to the barn early before work, planning on a quick 30 minute dressage school before getting back home to start my workday.

No sooner did I begin to ask my pony to bend more than I realized that I had forgotten to put on spurs.


Riding without spurs is something I pretty much just never do, because one ought never to go into battle unarmed, and every day with Dino finds me rehashing the concept of "leg = go" or "leg = move over" at one level or another.

However, with the help of Mr. Whippy, the ride was actually not horrible. Yes, I could have definitely achieved more bend through his ribcage or lifting of his abs with spurs on, but Dino was overall compliant and forward. I took my time, even though I knew I "only" had 30 minutes to ride, and let the way my pony was going determine what I asked him for. That attitude was rewarded with some quite pleasant, soft walk and trot work, and a bit of canter that was round if not super light and through. Dino seemed a little surprised that his work was done after only half an hour. Success!

Stretchies feel gooooood
Wednesday found me with more time to ride and nice soft footing in my favorite back field after the rain. I wanted to delve back into some lateral work to improve Dino's self-carriage, especially since he has the tendency to get strung-out and quick in the back field. (Open spaces are for running and jumping, says Dino.) I used a lot of haunches-in and turn on the forehand to get his back end in line, and it really helped me keep him straight. With the addition of some smaller canter circles than I usually ride, Dino was doing a lot of really nice, balanced work for me and pushing well off his hind end. The difference I feel in how through he is depends SO MUCH on his straightness, and I'm understanding that more and more these days! I ended the ride with some of our newly-discovered medium trot, and it was like riding a glorious flying furry beach ball of round, powerful awesomeness! I was really feeling the ride in my abs the next day - another little sign that I must be doing something right.

On Thursday I was hell bent on getting in a jump school before the weather really turned, despite the light rain that had started coming down as soon as I tacked up. To my delight, Dino only needed a couple reminders from Mr. Sticky about moving forward, and warmed up REALLY nicely given his usual performance in the jump field. He proceeded to just get better and better as the ride went on, warming up over a small bounce and then incorporating 4-stride bending lines and rollbacks over BN sized fences.

I surprised myself a bit with my own confidence! There were a couple times during the ride where I didn't see a distance right away, and not a bit of panic entered my mind - I just kept my leg on, kept coming, and worked it out. Dino was feeling AWESOME. He has really taken "Land & Gallop" to heart, and it was so fun to feel him burst away from each fence, ready for the next one! I was riding super forward to everything, seeing longer distances, and remembering to soften my hands at the base to let Dino use his neck and back as best he could. Homeboy was jumping out of his skin and felt absolutely incredible, even on the wet grass. Dino was so good, I was able to get off after less than an hour of riding, which is huge for us considering how long it usually takes me just to get him moving off my leg! I love being able to go into a day off after a great ride like that.

In other news, it's officially 2Pointober! I have been runner-up for longest time two years running, and I am determined to clinch the title this year. If you're a blogger, sign up now! If you're not, challenge yourself anyway! It's a really fun way to improve your riding fitness and stir up a little healthy competition in your barn. Get your horse, get in 2-point, and stay there as long as you can!



  1. this hurricane is trying to ruin my life haha... at least the outlook appears to be improving for the weekend! also yay for Dino continuing to do so well schooling!

  2. Sounds like you guys are putting in some really great work and that is awesome! Don't let hurricane Joaquin win!

  3. At least we don't have to fill water troughs? Hope y'all are doing ok!!

  4. Woohoo! Thanks for signing up to participate!

  5. You can do it! Also loved your medium trot description!

  6. You are rocking it, getting all those rides in before Joaquin comes crashing your party. Also, my first two point time was soooooo pathetic -- so at least I stand a good chance at most improved?!


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