Experimental Warmup

A rare photo of me riding my pony, taken by another human being 
Y'all, I have new non-crossite picture, not-a-selfie media! Let the heavens rejoice! 

Given the mood-boosting power of a good romp around the fields, I decided to try an experimental sort of warm up before I had Michael take some video of Dino and I schooling some flatwork. Instead of starting off with the dressage work right off the bat, I rode Dino down to the far corner of our big field to do a little trot and canter back up to the spot where we'd do our flatwork. I figured it couldn't hurt to start off with something he likes (trotting and cantering in a straight line out in the open) to get him warmed up for something he's lukewarm about at best (dressage). It's all about compromise with this obstinate being of mine. 


The result of my experiment was quite encouraging! While he didn't engage the turbo thrusters, Dino seemed to enjoy getting warmed up this way, and it was easy to get down to work with him once we reached the top of the hill. 

Additionally - how incredibly, epically vast is our farm!? I GET TO RIDE HERE EVERY DAY. I am so blessed. 

With the exception of my rogue left hand which seems to always want to let go of the rein and do strange things, and the fact that I still loooove to sit against/behind the motion, I was pretty pleased with what I saw on the videos. Especially in the walk. Guys, Dino's walk work is getting really good! Even being a bit out of shape and out of practice at this point in the year, it's so easy for me to get him straight, through, and really pushing in the walk. It feels amazing. 

More of this, please!

Uphill. Lovely. 

Free walk!

 You'll see in the video that he does flip his head once in a while and get fussy coming up from free walk back into a working frame. A lot of it was his great objection to the footing we had to deal with, which was deep and muddy in a lot of places, and made it tough for Dino to really get a grip with his hind feet. That transition is usually much smoother. Even so, I'm really pleased with the majority of the walk work!


The trot work was pretty decent - not super great, but Dino and I definitely had some bright moments.  I did a lot of sitting trot without stirrups, and worked on lengthening and shortening a bit. My left hand is forever doing its own thing, but again, I'm quite happy with what I see here considering the challenging footing. 

Boom, baby.

This was a bit of a lengthening

OMG, self, stop sitting behind the motion and maaaaaybe your pony can use his back better.  
Must sit up. And stop doing whatever I'm doing with that left hand. 

We didn't do a whole lot of canter, again, because footing. The edge of the hill where we did our little warm up romp was quite a bit better than the flat bit at the top where we did our dressage work. The canter work we did do was OK - Dino wasn't 100% engaged and I was definitely riding a bit conservatively because of the mud, but if this is our "meh" canter, I'll take it. 

Ehhhh...


The video footage doesn't totally horrify me, which is a victory in itself. We definitely have a lot to do in order to get back in fighting shape, but considering how early it is in the season after a winter of very light work, and the craptacular ground we had to work on, I'm OK with what I see. 

Video can be such a challenge - both in overcoming weird performance anxiety because someone else is watching you while taking video, and in not picking out every horrible thing you see when you watch it afterwards. I'm really proud of myself for not riding like a weirdo just because someone was there watching, and quite happy that I'm finding ways to keep Dino happy as we get back to work for the season. 

Comments

  1. You guys are looking so good! And I'm really jealous that you have big fields you can ride across. We have lots of big fields but the BO rents most of them out to farmers, so they're always planted, even in winter.

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    1. Thank you! Compared to this time last year we are way ahead of the curve! Our fields are planted in the late spring-fall, but we can still ride around the perimeter for conditioning sets, and during those times in the year our grass 'arena' and my favorite field by the pond are usable, so it works! There's always someplace to ride and we get a lot of variety!

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  2. man he looks great! really happy to walk on and go forward. seems like letting him run out for a bit really helped loosen him up!

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    1. Thank you!! He LOVES to work out in the wide open spaces.. dude's claustrophobic or something.

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  3. When possible I always like to try to warm up with something that the horse prefers. Houston sometimes would warm up best of we did some canter work first instead of right into trot. It's all unique to the horse though I think.

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  4. I love this kind of warm up! I've been playing around with ours a bit too, but it sort of depends on the horse I have for the day! I think Dino is looking really great. I'm very excited to read all about your journey this year as I feel like we are coming right a long with you guys! This time last year there was so much snow on the ground here!

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    1. Thank you! I agree - you and I are really on the same page this year! Dino started SERIOUSLY objecting to ring work after a few weeks of hauling out to the indoor, so I'm trying to incorporate things he enjoys in every ride to help re-install his work ethic.

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  5. You and Dino are looking super! I avoid videos of my riding (which is easy to do, because no one is ever at the barn when I ride), so major kudos for getting a video AND watching it AND not being horrified!

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    1. Thanks!! I love video as a learning tool, but I can so easily zero in on everything "wrong" that I see!

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  6. Euro pony is looking awfully fancy in those walk stills!

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  7. Definitely the best kind of warm up :) yay for pictures

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  8. You too look awesome! I really want to go for a ride outside now haha

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  9. I totally need your input on riding in a field! My house is on ten acres and I have no idea if I can ride on the field or what to look for ect I'm just dying to get out of the arena

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    1. I will facebook you and we will chat :)

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