Riley heads back home this weekend, hopefully with a skull full of new knowledge and a much fitter body than when he came to me. Before he left though, I really wanted to get him off property and put him in front of someone who could comment on his progress. Unfortunately it was a bit late and the timing didn’t work out for a show, so I opted to take him to Eliza’s for a dressage lesson.
Riley loaded like a champ, and bar a couple loud whinnies (which is the norm for him anyways, he’s a rather vocal dude), settled in at once.
It’s been so long since I have taken a lesson on a greenie (like, years, since I normally do much of the initial stuff myself), so it was great to get some reminders to set him up for dressage success.
Things like using your weight in each stirrup rather than the reins to turn that might seem obvious, but you can forget when steering is a bit compromised as it is on a green horse finding his balance. Occasionally I didn’t get aggressive enough with this concept, and it turned into a rather hairy moment when Riley didn’t turn quickly enough and attempted cantering with 2 legs inside the arena, and two legs up on the grass level of the perimeter, about 10″ above.
Much like it is nigh impossible to run with one leg in the street and one leg in the curb, this concept didn’t work out too well for Riley. Luckily the husband was there to catch our combined lawn darting on camera, and since we were both OK, in my mind anything worth laughing at is also worth turning into a gif. I really don’t think I had any way of saving this, and since it was just a dumb moment I’m happy to share with you kind folks.
We determined that both of us were fine and I mounted up again. Overall the lesson was really helpful, in that it got me thinking about dressage as a long-term goal, and not just focusing on the immediate result as is the temptation with babies. So things like letting my leg hang now, instead of kicking to get the forward, will help me later when I need a horse that is more sensitive to my leg aids.
Bar a scary 10 seconds, in which I’m glad I did not get crushed under those thunder feet, it was a really great lesson and a good reminder of working towards an end game. Though I’m really bummed to be sending Riley home, I’m exceptionally proud of how far he has come, from pasture ornament to dressage pony in a matter of just over 2 months. I definitely look forward to using the experience and the reminders from this lesson on Smitty, and can only hope he comes along just as easily.
OMG I just had a heart attack haha. Glad you’re both ok! Riley has come such a long way in such a short time 🙂
Extreme greenie moment! I feel like as unfortunate as it is to have those moments – at least you got it on video! He has made such great progress otherwise 🙂
Goddamn stumbles scare the shit out of me, glad you are both ok
That stumble gif is hysterical (knowing you both came out of it unharmed of course)!
Hah! The fall gif is totally my form over fences. 🙂
Such a random question, but what was the hubs using to video you with?
He used my Fugifilm X-T10, which was a freebie at the Adobe Conference I attended last year. It’s super straightforward in video mode, so I’ve been using it any time I need to hand my camera off to someone that isn’t familiar with SLRs- all the Kentucky videos were also using this guy. The color degradation you see in the gif’s was done in photoshop to get the file size down.
Holy crap, I want to go to a conference where they give you a camera. Even with the degradation, the quality is still amazing.
He looks like a blast to ride and a quick learner!
Damn that fall .gif is pretty epic! Y’all look amazing though. He looks like he’ll be a fun horse for someone.
Haha wow that fall. That’s hilarious. Glad you’re ok.
Riley is seriously adorable. 🙂
What a cutie! That gif is great
Much grace there Riley! Glad you two are okay and that the rest of the ride was great!
What a cutie. I’m glad you got one last lesson on him.
Riley is freaking adorable. I will kidnap him.
bahaha i’m so far behind but wow this was so worth coming back for. that makes THREE of us now who have absolutely magical falls off ponies captured on film. i think there needs to be a club of sorts lol. maybe t shirts?
anyway seriously tho – Riley looks fantastic after his stint of time with you! hopefully he can keep on the good work after going home!
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