Terribly Ugly Riding

Cooper pasture high

Cooper – Last week, a few days too many off poking around in a grassy pasture.

Thought we were way past this, Cooper.  A struggle, all over again.  And worse.  And what on earth has happened to the quiet, calm, mouth?

Discouraging ride.  Plenty of energy, but mainly directed inward, a tight ball with a lost outside shoulder and a tweak in the neck this way, a tweak in the poll that way.

Unresponsive to the leg, but sensitive at the same time.  Can’t blame him when I’m feeding into his stuff that badly.  We wrestled.  That’s not dressage…

Angry Appaloosa ball, irritated even more by ugly aids.  Not his fault.

Angry Appaloosa

At home, looking at pictures – all the multiple rider positioning faults were extremely clear.  Exasperated to see it’s still ALL the same faults.  Think I’m permanently tweaked…

This is such a difficult sport.  Apparently it’s going to be difficult, and unpleasing to the eye for a very long time for me.  I’m sure you’ve been there too.  Perhaps just not posting it for all to see on the Web…

A few, very few, good moments.  Sharing some split seconds here with you.  Seriously, these were the better moments.  The only ones.  All the rest, bad enough to make one want to go back to just grooming.

Finally relaxing a bit

An angry ball

Finally the correct lead

Marty, from MCDressage, set us off on a better course this week instead.  Had a MUCH better solo ride on Wednesday after the lesson.

I’m very lucky to have someone able to come out and work with me. Marty has been extremely generous with his time, never a rush.  Very grateful for this!

Because of course, the morning of your lesson; colts will break loose, buckets will magically empty upside down in stalls, or the outside water hose will freeze.  Or all simultaneously.

Arena games with MC Dressage

Another visitor at Castle Rock this week.

This time Martin Courtney.  Enjoying access, perhaps for the last week, to our arena at Castle Rock farm.  A dressage lesson was a great way to say goodbye to the grounds.

Cooper was calm and ready to work.  No extracurricular spooking.  In such great shape now he didn’t even really break a sweat.  Granted, we worked a lot at the walk and not too much canter, but he was working.

The concept of lateral moves does not come naturally for him.  Also still much prefers to counterbend at any given time.

Finally, Fall is Here!
Finally, Fall is Here!

Overall very happy with the ride.  Cooper is a bit tense to the idea of someone instructing close to him from the ground – he clams up.  The next day, trying some of the leg yielding on a small circle on our own, he didn’t completely loose his forward.  Wondering how long it will take to show him how to do it…

Marty spent a lot of time with us, – really fun to get some feedback and new ideas.  Need this more often!  I’m always open for new ideas.  Next time he comes back it will be at the new property.  Can’t wait!

You can find Marty’s website Here.