I love my poneh, seriously she is amazing.
Joe was home and Smooshy was asleep so I had my first proper long ride on Sunday (as opposed to the "hop on, looook I'm riding" rides) Here are something I learned.
My muscles used to be reeeeeeeally strong, I wish I had appreciated them more, like when I had them. (please note the past tense)
All my saddles suck, since I was paying such close attention to my position I can't help but notice the dressage saddle tips me in a funny way. Saddle fitting is on the agenda this summer for sure.
Joy likes to spook, at chickens and things in the yard, probably because the yard is boring.
We like going fast, on the trails.
My mare is a snot to saddle and possibly always will be even when I have a better fitting saddle.
Spiral circles are one of the most useful training exercises for tense, high headed horses. (see below)
Joy is so remarkably sensitive it is ridiculous. Fun to ride, challenging to ride and totally ridiculous.
I was so completely happy to feel her be responsive and supple, we (obviously) haven't done much formal training lately. One exercise I particularly like is a spiral circle at the trot, you start out on a nice round circle and slowly spiral in making it smaller and then out again until you reach the original size. Circle work is great for Joy since it forces her to slow down, balance, relax and stretch her body. The spiral is especially helpful because it requires her to focus on me instead of anticipating what comes next. It is super helpful for me to work on using my outside aides and staying focused.
Then it rained really, really hard.