Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Team Trip to Tielcey Park 2

So last Wednesday (where has the week gone!) I was back at Tielcey Park with all of the ponies for some serious training. There were no calves born that day so I was free to go. It's actually pretty nice to line them all up and just ride them bang bang bang, instead of riding on over breakfast, two during lunch and one once I'm done sort of thing. It's really frustrating because I always feel time pressure and that's not good. I have even once gotten up in the dark and ridden in the dark before milking which is harder than you would think. You get to focus more on how the horse feels but it's odd how much you rely on your eyes when you are riding.

Anyways, I got on Bill first and the goal was to be in the outdoor and jump around lots of little jumps and put like little courses together. There is a bit of back story in that the day before I was ding fitness laps on the side of a hill and she was insanely difficult. She was fine at the trot but then I hit the big no once she started getting tired and there was some serious bucking and i actually nearly bought it twice. Twice she bucked so big I didn't think I was going to land anywhere the horse but somehow landed on her back and got her head up and sent her on. Mostly the canter was causing her to throw her toys. So I made her trot up and down that hill until she was tired and brought her home and cantered her for about 15 mins in my schooling paddock. Because her canter is so unbalanced I have just been letting her putter around, trying to get her to find her own balance. Well because she was bucking still, I had to take more contact and wrap more leg around her and I was quite hard on her. It actually helped though, and she was giving me some really nice canter work by the end even though she was a tired pony. Sometimes Bill starts trying to dictate how things are done but she needs to realise it's never do as Bill wants day and always do as I ask day.

In the picture above you can see why I have canter balance issues has so much energy coming from behind she doesn't seem to know what to do with it. Her back feet are so high off of the ground and it's always like this. She is a real power pony. Anyway, she worked really nicely at Tielcey on the flat and gave me some great canter work with no buck. After that on ride when I was tougher on her, she has really started to find her canter balance, and I'm able to help her more.

She is so freaking cute! I'm getting to be pretty in love with this horse, she is so exciting to train and see how she improves, and feel the potential. Anyway, she was good to all of the fences. Just small crosses from the trot and little uprights and a little picket. She went straight over the picket which was really cool. She jumped it pretty big and kept an eye on it all the way over but she jumped it first time.

What was really cool was feeling her start to get it and trot more forward to the fences and even start cantering that last stride and place herself and pop over. She did collect one fence. Kim put it up and she completely misjudged it (I can say it's her fault, because I never place them when they are starting I just sit quiet and let them figure it out. It's hard to do, but ultimately means they can save your butt later down the line) and skittled the fence but after that she was so careful not to touch anything at all.

The coolest part was when I went down this one line and she trotted in and jumped the first fence in the line and then carried on in the canter and popped over the next fence and cantered through the two stride double. A bit crooked, a bit wobbly but ultimately she would go over the fence and at this stage thats all I'm really worried about.

This red oxer felt humungous to me, but is actually pretty small. It would be lucky to be two feet. Still she went straight over and felt pretty good to be honest. Even from a slow trot and going crooked to a small she leaves the ground powerfully and wants to make the right shape- get up with her shoulder, low with her head and she wants to get the back end up.

Connie was next to ride and getting onto Connie is always like climbing onto an old friend. She is a hairy scruffy unfit friend but familiar all the same. Her flatwork is still there but she tires quickly. I didn't do too much and then had a bit of a gallop around for fun. She never got into a gallop I don't think, just a fast canter, but it sure looks like she is channeling her TB mother.

I popped around a few fences and Connie was good but lazy. At one point Kim put a fence up and even though I knew it was an easy 5 strides as soon as the fence went up I reverted to old habits and hustled her down the line and got her deep. Yuk! I'm better than that! It just went up and I felt I needed more speed and thats really not the case at all.

honestly, She felt bloody crap. She felt scopeless and not a jumper at all. for Connie to jump well she needs to be really fit and the fences need to be big. She doesn't waste any unnecessary energy over a fence, so at 1m or so she feels so average. It's almost disheartening only I know thats just how she is. I foresee plenty of hill work in her future though!


  1. Its so hard to believe it is winter there and seeing horses in blankets and body clips when here its sweltering and almost 100 degrees!!
    I love the picture of Connie galloping!
    You must be really fit, doing all that riding and farm work!

  2. Bill sure is a nice young thing, thought I don't envy you the ride one iota. ;-) Glad you're still riding.