Training For the Indoor
|My all-time favorite indoor!|
At college, in lessons, in clinics, at horse shows, and for schooling sessions during bad weather. But while working through yet another, "Yes, leg still means go, no I don't care that you think the indoor is stupid and would rather trail ride, it's pitch black out," conversation with Dino the other night, I realized that I haven't had consistent access to an indoor arena since we were both in school over ten years ago. Each time I rode him in an indoor, there was a certain level of psychological pressure present. We had to perform - whether that was in a lesson, clinic, or competition environment, or even just to get my ring fee's worth - and I took the attitude of having to just do whatever was necessary to "get through" the ride, even if it resulted in a pony who was perhaps compliant, but not really a partner in what we were doing that day.
I realized that I've never actually trained my pony to work happily in an indoor arena.
|The only indoor Dino ever worked consistently in...|
At least, that's my hope, though I was seriously doubting my optimistic idea last night as I battled some major pony'tude in relation to going forward when I put my leg on so I could let Dino do something fun, like jump a crossrail. "He is 20. He would never do this out in a field. Why are we still doing this?" I asked myself, pony-club-kicking him around the arena until Dino stopped snarking at my leg and behaved like he was a trained riding animal.
It's going to be a long winter, but perhaps we can make some headway in giving Dino a little bit of a change in perspective about the indoor arena.