Monday, April 13, 2015

Dressage Clinic and Ride 3

First of all, no I didn't ride Mikey in a clinic! I rode him during the lunch break.

The clinic was last Saturday, and there was a half hour lunch break, during which I tried to squeeze in a ride. I made sure I was ready to go in as soon as the prior lesson was done. That got messed up because that lesson went 5 min late, and the next lesson came in 15 minutes early, which left me with ten minutes to get my 20 min of walk and trot work in!

The clinician knew Mikey was just getting back into work (we chatted while he did his walk work), and was gracious enough to let me ride for another five or ten minutes while she chatted with her next lesson and had the lesson warm up a little.

Mikey felt awesome again, and was quiet even though he had spent his time in the crossties being a butthead. I went to great lengths in his early years to teach him to stand still, in the middle of the aisle, until I take him out of the crossties. He was being a fidgety, naughty horse Saturday! He quieted down as soon as I asked him to come through and walk, and his trot felt light and lovely. I wish I could have kept riding, but I had to get out of the arena.

I took him outside for some hand grazing after, and iced his hock and then put his back on track wraps on.
"No, I won't look at you."
Nom nom nom

More nom nom nomming.
My trainer worked outside in the big outdoor arena that has the dressage arena for her lesson because she needed to work on her 4* test. The day had started with a lot of rain, but cleared up nicely, so she was the only one to work out there.

During warm up.
I didn't get many pictures of her because she had me video with her phone, so I couldn't get more with mine. I caught one of her early trot half passes before switching to her phone.

They never got to ride through the whole test, but they focused on the five loop canter serpentine. So that move has 5 loops, which means they cross the centerline 4 times (not counting the short sides). For the first two times she goes across the centerline, she's to hold the counter canter, and the next two, she's to ride a single flying change.

Cody was having none of it. He's a jumping machine, and dressage is his worst phase. Go figure since I want to steal him to finish my bronze.

XC at The Fork CIC***
Show Jumping at The Fork CIC***

He's a fit boy, his gallop sets are 3-10 minute gallops in prep for Rolex (not at Advanced speed 570mpm- he does them at Training/Prelim speed, 470-520mpm). Take that super fit horse, put him in a package and expect him to relax in a dressage ring, while working hard on his weakest phase? He had a few rearing tantrums as his head exploded. There's no getting through to him when he's like that, you do what you can and put him away, and bring him back out a couple hours later. He didn't go back out that day, but he had a hell of a session planned for the next day!

One week til they ship off to Rolex!


  1. Ha! I love how you describe Cody's attitude, because that it so Pig. Poor Pig. Stuck doing his worst phase forever. :)

    Happy to hear the good rides with Mikey are still coming. I think you're on to something about him feeling different behind without shoes. Probably just feels weaker, right?

    1. Haha! Dressage has always been Mikey's best phase. We usually won it, then screwed up in SJ with a rail or XC on the time. I was a slow XC rider until I wheeled every course and found the minute markers. I could force myself to ride a bigger gallop since I knew where I was on time. Cody is a much better dressage horse when he's not racehorse fit and wrapped in bubble wrap. At his last Advanced a few months ago, he had a 35 or something in the dressage, which is perfectly respectable for a third level test. But I don't think I'd want to sit on him right now, he's too fit. Fit horses have big tantrums when they're unhappy about somethng. After his month and a half off after Rolex he'll be nice and chill!

      Mikey does feel weaker behind in trot. Walk he feels great, but the trot is just weak. He tires out quickly and since his hind end is already wishy washy, any movement that's a little off gets amplified. I don't remember if he was this wishy washy behind before he got his hind shoes. I know after he got them he was suddenly strong. I imagine we're going to go at least two more shoeing cycles without them.