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May was FEELING her oats at our lesson this week. She’s been in pretty solid work lately, so I wonder if the other saddle really was causing her to suck back a bit. Either way, it made for an interesting jump lesson.

We started with a baby gymnastic. Short turn, three poles, vertical. Now if you all remember, this short turn is basically my nemesis. May is…. not a sports car and keeping impulsion, balance, and power steering is a forever kind of struggle. However, we got it going pretty well, and it really got her tuned into my outside aids. (you know… almost like it was built to do exactly that….)

It started low but eventually built up to the above. You can see May being a bit more resistant to my right hand, which really just felt like a symptom of her being super forward.

Look at those locked in ears!

Once we nailed that exercise, we moved onto a short course. Through the gymastic, up the pink, bending 6 strides to the liverpool, then down the diagonal in 5.

How’d it go? Fine… except that she just kind of ran past the distance to the yellow jump in the first part of the diagonal. Ooooook. Thanks mare. Mandy reminded me to, you know, maintain rhythm, and we moved onto a more complicated course.

Through the gymnastic, bending 4 to the red, white and blue vertical. (Yeah, that got a hairy eyeball from me, but rode great). Then, left turn to the pink, bending to the liverpool again. Then the yellow and around to the skinny blue “block”.

Aiming for the base with these skinny/solid questions

Whew! Lots of related distances, turns, and different questions in a rather short course. The first time through, the first line rode GREAT. Then… we got in a bit of a disagreement TURNING to the pink. But I got her straight and she jumped the SNOT out of it from a longish distance.


However, I made ZERO corrections going to the liverpool, and it rode in 5.25 strides. Cool. I made a BIG correction to the yellow, which felt ugly, but she jumped it ok.Β  Finally over the blue box, which rode easy peasy.

All the jumps stayed up (yay), but there was definitely room for improvement. As the saying goes, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” I suddenly had a horse that wasΒ really thinking forward, and I had to be a bit faster and more decisive with my corrections to smooth things out. We did the same course again, and I am REALLY happy with it.

To my, the big difference between the video from yesterday and the video from March is how forward thinking May is and how decisive I am in my decisions. Is it perfect? Nah. I could nitpick every. single. fence. However, I had a plan, and I went out and executed that plan.

I am also SUPER happy with how confident May feels. Even just a few months ago, the higher height of the red white and blue and yellow jumps would have backed her off. Now, she is hunting down those fences without blowing past my half halt. (When used correctly and decisively).

Both videos are below, but let’s just say, I am super excited to get out in less than a month!

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  1. martidoll123

    WOOOHOOO Spicy Corgi Pony for the win! she is so much more forward than she was it is AMAZING. and that was a LOT Of jumping. My abs hurt watching πŸ™‚

    When is your show again??

    1. Emily

      I was actually pretty surprised with how forward she is, given how hard the ground is right now. RAIN PLEASE.

      The show is October 19-20. πŸ˜€

  2. the_everything_pony

    Woot! Spicy pony was on fire! She is definitely more forward and you guys nailed that turn! It was an awesome round πŸ˜€

    1. Emily

      Thank you! She really cracks me up because she’s so rideable and so adjustable, but would really love me to just shut up and hold on. haha Mares

  3. emma

    she looks really good!! also i might steal that short turn approach exercise and repeat forever and ever and ever for the rest of our lives…. lol

    1. Emily

      RIGHT? That short turn exercise is basically life right now hahaha. Forward, and straight, and balanced, and turning, and and and hahaha

    2. Emily

      I should add – the poles were 9′ apart to avoid the habit of running the horse out of the turn.

  4. Jannae

    Looks like such a fun ride! What an awesome little spicy pony!

    1. Emily

      Thank you! She is SUPER fun and just LOVES it all. Can’t wait to get her back out on XC where she really shines πŸ˜‰

  5. Sarah (threechestnuts)

    She looks like she’s having so much fun! I’m re-learning how to ride and jump (different horse makes things SO HARD) so I’ll just watch you guys since you look like you know what you’re doing. Lol!

    1. Emily

      I almost FEEL like I know what I am doing… more like passing glimpses of brilliance. πŸ˜‰ It’s definitely a process!

    1. Emily

      Bahahah! The spiciest yellow sausage!!

  6. KC Scott

    Woohoo!! Looking good!


    I really enjoyed reading this because you were so thorough in your explanations, yet you kept it lighthearted and fun. You could have very easily been harsh on either yourself or your horse, but you chose to take an optimist’s stance, which I really respect!

    1. Emily

      Thanks! Riding is such a journey. If you always focus on what isn’t perfect, you will always be miserable.

  8. Stacie Seidman

    May looks like she’s having the best time! Sounds like a great lesson!

    1. Emily

      Those happy ears when we jump definitely do not appear during Dressage lessons hahaha

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