Finding The Way Forward

Looking majestic at snacktime. Maybe one day I'll have actual riding pictures of us doing stuff.
Since getting bodywork and a new saddle pad a week and a half ago, Dinosaurus has been ridden several times (dressage-heavy work) and started on Pentosan to address his aging joints and make him as comfortable as possible in his work.

Ride 1 was phenomenal in the canter work, and walk/trot work after that.

Ride 2 was not quite as good, but I popped EuroPony over a few small fences (crossrails to 2'3") and he was a BEAST - galloping up and over and jumping REALLY well through his body, and to top it off we agreed about every single distance.

Ride 3 was just OK. I think Dino definitely felt sore from using himself so well in the previous two rides, and mentally 3 days in a row of dressage is a lot for him to do without getting bored and cranky. Rapid-fire transitions helped get him back to using himself well, but it was a laborious process.

Ride 4 was a walk around the property to give us both a break! Dino felt AWESOME. I focused on staying as soft as possible and allowing him to march forward and use his body. I was able to get us to the point where me letting out a deep breath caused Dino to bring his back up and stretch over his topline. It felt GREAT! We both definitely needed this decompression ride.

Ride 5 was the paper chase, and you all know how well that went!

What happens when I try to take confo shots. 
Ride 6 found us back at it with the flatwork last night. Inspired in part by Megan's post and the conversation that followed in the comments, I wanted to make sure that I gave Dino and myself the time to warm up properly doing the 'boring' stuff instead of trying to go straight to the 'hard work' part of our ride. I took my time at the walk, riding big circles and staying light with my hands while asking Dino to spiral in and out, and go from a working frame down into a free walk and back. Wonder of wonders, taking my time in the warm up resulted in a pony moving beautifully over his back and into the contact. I continued to take my time as we moved into trot and canter work, going back to the walk when things fell apart, and we had a really lovely ride. Dino did start ducking behind the contact a bit, but he was also moving laterally really nicely off my seat and lengthening and shortening in a light and forward manner as well, so I wasn't too worried about it! It was good to have my little sportscar focused and forward.

Dino gets today off, then we are headed to a lesson on Wednesday! If all continues to go well, we'll be headed back to Burgundy Hollow next month. With how well Dino's been going at home, I feel good about picking up where we left off and getting back into the swing of things, even if we have to dial it back over fences and won't be jumping right back in at BN this summer. I'm determined to have fun, regardless of what level we're competing at or if we end up competing at all!


  1. That sounds like really positive progress! I'm rooting for you guys to keep finding the fun :)

  2. Hope you have a good lesson tomorrow!

  3. Mine is the same way. Three really hard dressagey rides in a row is a lot for him mentally and physically, and we usually have to work in a stretchy ride or an easy jump school. Glad you're feeling like your pony is getting back to normal.

  4. Just remember, things don't magically change overnight. Sounds like you're on the right track and just have to keep on keeping on until this new way of going and attitude becomes the new norm!!


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