The Grumpiest Princess

29 04 2013

I had a really useful lesson today on Bramble, who I have decided is the Grumpiest Princess, just as Tara is the Prettiest Princess. Heh. She really tested me, right from the moment I tried to lead her away from her hay to her attempt to bite me (one of two, the first being while I was waiting for the mounting block) as I was dressing her in her rug. She didn’t get me with either, I stood my ground and verbally told her off, and she backed off each time.

We did walk and trot transitions with and without stirrups, the instructor’s rationale being that as beginners we were all far too content to just sit on a horse who was lolloping forwards at a pace they were happy with and not pushing them on to a pace we were happy with. Then we did a bit more canter work than we have done in previous sessions. She seems to be making us work hard on our trot now to really perfect it, but just giving us a chance to canter to the back of the ride so we can get used to it, offering us a bit of constructive criticism on our seat on each go. My problem seems to have been that I’ve been tensing up to try and maintain a position in canter, when the best thing I could have done would have been to relax. I have also been clinging onto the neck strap, almost as if for dear life. Heh. On my final attempt, though, I tried not to do both of these things, and had the nicest, longest and most controlled-feeling canter I can remember in a long while. Although Bramble’s canter is terribly shaky, her transition into it is very smooth. I like that.

I think the Pilates is helping. Rising in trot has become much easier and I feel better balanced in the saddle in general. On Wednesday I’m going to step this up to the Advancing workout, because for the last few days I’ve found myself doing the ten-minute basic workout twice a day just because I feel like it and not because I think I should.

I ordered The Hoody! It is bright orange and lovely and soft. I tried to take a picture, but it was too dark in my room.

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8 responses

29 04 2013
mellchan

Good job on the lesson! It sounds like you are getting your moneys worth out of it and you’re definitely improving. Is there every anyone who is available to take a short video of you while riding?

And thank you for the blog award! To be honest your blog, which I randomly found on google, is what got me back into blogging and I always try and read your entries as soon as they show up in my email notifications! And yes, volunteer!

In any case, if you are as passionate about horses as I know you are, you WILL end up in the position to have all the horsey time you want someday….I just KNOW it!! 🙂

30 04 2013
onahorse

Awww, thank you! I’m pleased to know that my writing has re-inspired your enthusiasm for writing (:

29 04 2013
thecasualphilosopher

Your relaxed-in-canter experience sounds great. I know what you mean about the relaxing. It is so much easier when you can let go, and just follow the horse’s rhythm. Easier said.

Horses can be such divas, can’t they? The 16.2 quarter horse mare I used to ride was just awful! And her head is so huge, you really had to maintain control from the *moment* you went to halter her, lest she pull you down and start eating whatever she could find on the ground. That, and the biting attempts — I learnt how to use my elbow quite effectively! Right in the cheek.

30 04 2013
onahorse

Yes, horses *are* such divas. This is part of the reason why I see almost all mares as princesses. I don’t think I’d like them as much if they weren’t, though. Heh.

30 04 2013
Sparrowgrass

Sort of tie-ing in with Mellchan, thank for the award and your kind words. It was reading your blog that taught me it’s interesting to post detail about riding (you’re still a lot better at writing detailed riding/horse stuff than me) and that it helps other people feel better about their riding to read something that *doesn’t* say “I get on a perfect pony and he does exactly what I want all the time and we win lots of prizes and his mane is made of rainbows and he never ever poos, bites, attracts flies or gets dirty.” 😉

30 04 2013
onahorse

You’re welcome, of course. I don’t think horse riding would be any fun if it wasn’t for all of those elements!

30 04 2013
theInelegantHorseRider

Thanks for the nomination, those are really kind words as I am new to blogging. Much appreciated! Your blog is great, great detail about your lessons and your honesty makes me feel better about writing about when things don’t go 100% correctly – so for me that’s most of the time 🙂
I thought about stealing your title for my post this week, had a similar experience with the grumpiest princess in our yard. I love the fact they all have their own personalities, that’s what makes it so much fun!

30 04 2013
onahorse

Please, go ahead! I’d be honoured 🙂

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