The Little Engine That Could

The side-eye is strong with this one. 

Dino and I keep working, because that's pretty much the only way I know how to handle frustration. Work more. Fix it. Do the thing. Do the thing better.

Saturday was fitness day. I'm trying to stick to doing fitness sets religiously once a week, because the last thing I want to worry about is having a pooped pony halfway through XC. I have way more important things to think about, like actually getting to the other side of the jumps.

Now that the tall weeds have been cut down, I've moved back to our big 50ac field for conditioning. The hills are bigger/better than in the back field, and while looping around the big field isn't the most thrilling thing ever, it's slightly more thrilling than riding behind the pastures, with less chance of running into a flock of geese, the resident fox, the resident crazy turkey, or being ambushed by woodchucks in trees.

Tree-dwelling woodchucks are a legitimate thing. Trust me.

It took Dino a couple minutes into the first trot set to really warm up and get swinging, but after that he felt great. It was a hot day, low 80's with bright sun, and it didn't take long for both of us to be drenched in sweat.

After deciding to learn to ride over terrain two years ago, I'm finally getting comfortable with going downhill. Trotting and cantering down the big slopes on our property ain't no thing for my lizard brain anymore, and that is pretty awesome! I've learned how to stay in a light seat going downhill while still pointing my hips forward to stay balanced, and I no longer feel the heart-pounding terror I used to when riding fast downhill. It's a good thing.

I also practiced getting Dino up in front of my leg and up in his shoulders during our ride - getting that powerful, carrying, uphill XC canter. He was pretty responsive to my forward-sending half halts, and it only took a little tickle from Mr. Sticky to really light him up and turn on the afterburners. I'm trying to ingrain the feeling of that canter as best I can, and make it our go-to mode of movement.

EuroPony was pooped after that ride.

On Sunday he got a well-deserved day off, and Monday brought a dressage ride. It took me a good 30 minutes to get him on my aids, especially to the left, but once we got there he was pretty darn brilliant and we had some lovely trot-halt transitions, canter departs, and 10m canter circles. Over the next few days we'll be doing some stadium practice, as well as more dressage, probably some trail riding, and another XC lesson, because Lord knows I need as much help as I can get out there!


  1. Terrifying woodchucks are for real! There's a family of them that lives in the a tree on my walk to the ring and they LOVE jumping onto the drainpipe of the shed and scaring the shit out of the ponies (which is awesome when you're on concrete!!!)... little monsters!

  2. So envious of your big fields to ride in, but slightly nervous of tree dwelling woodchucks...

  3. I cannot trot or canter downhill. Does. Not. Compute.

  4. What an adorable face he has. I've not heard of tree dwelling woodchucks but they sound frightening

  5. Figuring out how to ride on terrain was definitely... Outside of my comfort zone. But now I love it!! And yay for al the lessons!

  6. Why are there so many terrible creatures out there?? I hope the woodchucks are less brutal than the misquitos


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