The chronicles of a Friesian mare who happened upon an owner who lives outside the show ring....

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Does this rider make my butt look big?

My has it been a shamefully long time since Daatje and I have attempted to school dressage.  There was a time when we were solid at 1st level and schooling some 2nd level moves, but now?  Disconnected might be a good way to put it!  My brother came out a couple of weeks ago and took some photos of us while schooling in the field.  (Thanks Nate!)  It was blatantly obvious to me, after looking at some of the photos mid-ride (educational tool when too poor for lessons!) that I was rounding my shoulders, sitting in a godforsaken chair seat with piano hands (blame the dingbat whacker for that!) and causing Daatje to be short in the neck and too deep behind the vertical.  Ugh.  Knowledge is power though, so after seeing the photos, I went back to work to try to correct the errors of my ways.  Here are some photos of the efforts after.
She has a ridonkulously short neck to begin with, so I have to be super careful not to scrunch her up in front.  So easy not to notice with a high necked horse!
With Daatje, I'm happy to see her light in front and slightly in front of the vertical.  I think we're picking up our canter here.
Really trying to maintain my out-of-shape-for-dressage self....but look at how nicely she's stepping under.  She really is a joy to ride.  So comfortable and balanced!
We had a good workout, the both of us!  Only 30 minutes of just trying to maintain a good rhythm and balance and we were pooped!
I sure do wish I had the resources for more dressage lessons.  Maybe someday.  For now we'll have to work with what we've got!  Getting back into shape will help.  I'm glad Daatje doesn't mind if her rider makes her butt look big. :)
All shortcomings are quickly forgiven with a few peppermint cookies.  ;)  Don't worry Daatje, we'll get back into practice this spring!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Is that a Western bridle?

You may remember my mention of Daatje and I being Zorro and Tornado for Halloween this year?  Well, I finally got the bridle/bit/reins that I want to use as part of that get-up so I had Daatje model for you all. :)
You'll notice there's no curb strap....I don't have one to match this bridle yet, so no riding in it until then, but I think she looks smashing in Western tack! 

I'll have to school her in this bridle some before we're ready for the Halloween Hunt/Costume classes/Hunter Paces though.  Although she's had driving training in a Liverpool, and hunts in a Pelham, she doesn't neck rein well enough for me to be comfortable riding her in this bit in an exciting setting.  It will give us something to play around with!  :)

So, after I took these modeling shots, we tacked up in our regular gear and went for one of the best trail rides we've had so far this winter.  It finally snowed, which I really could have done without, but it makes for great footing out on the trails!  We enjoyed quite a few good gallops.  I think she missed being able to get a good run in.