Saturday, March 21, 2015

First Dressage Lesson on Mochs!!

 Ready to start becoming a real event pony!

Last Saturday Mochs' Isabell showed up!  I am super happy with it!  

With the red gullet.


 She also got some stylin' new Woof Boots.  I have kind of been on a spending spree for her lately...  (I also full body clipped her a couple days after this)

Last Sunday we went for our first dressage lesson together.  Actually, that was our first lesson together, ever.  I can take all the lessons I want on Klein, but I need lessons on Mochs too because she is so different.  Not just different for obvious reasons like their size difference, but because they are two completely different rides.

First, Mochs was a completely different horse from the previous weekend when I took her to just hack around with my instructor and one of her horses.  The previous weekend was the first time I had hauled her anywhere in quite some time and she was nervous.  Normally she is pretty quiet.  She must have remembered it was no big deal because by last weekend she was back to normal Mochi.

 Dgaf.  Napping while waiting on me.

The Other Half stopped by with the Dart.  Moch was napping and it woke her up when she heard it coming up the driveway.  Clearly she was enjoying her nap.

Mochs was great in her lesson.  Not easy, but great.  She tries so hard for me.  By the end of the lesson I had a different horse.  Her big problem right now is that she is lacking in the balance department.  Right now we have hours of trot work ahead of us.  She will have a choppy, unbalanced trot but then she'll connect and we'll have a few beautiful strides, then she'll disconnect, then connect again half way around the ring and there is another string of balanced steps.  Basically, the disconnection will slowly fade away as she gets stronger and learns where and how to carry herself.

She has two main evasions.  One is to pull on me, the other is to fall forward and try to run out from underneath my, basically splatting on her forehand and getting heavy and rushed.  She pulled so hard on me one ride I actually had a blister from my wedding ring between my ring finger and middle fingers.  I would never pull on her when she does this, I was just not giving to her, but she is pretty strong.  My instructor fixed that last week. 

Every time Moch would go to pull on me she would tell me to drop most of the contact so she had nothing to fight against.  She said slow her down with your body, not your hands, go smaller with your seat, tighten your abs, and squeeze her.  Moch immediately responded.  One thing that is so awesome about my dressage instructor is that, more so than any instructor I have ever had, she is 110% about controlling your horses tempo/movements with your body.  I feel like I've missed out before I started riding with her.  This stuff is so important.  Previous instructors would touch on it, but my current one really emphasizes it before anything else.  I mean every one knows you don't stop a horse by pulling back on the reins, and that you ride a horse back to front but it is different to have an instructor that pretty much demands your body ride every single step your horse takes.

I think I worked as hard as Moch did in our lesson.  I really did ride every single step of that ride.  One thing my instructor calls me out on is when we take a break and are walking around the ring I stop riding sometimes because you know, it's break time.  I start going bigger with my seat and she reminds me that's not doing me or my horses any favors.  She told me I am a little too supple in my body, which is great, but I need to be a little more aware of it.

Lesson complete!

We are working at the walk and trot right now, which is funny because it seems so elementary, but that lesson at just the walk and trot was harder than some lessons with second level movements.  We did 20m circles that spiraled in and out, changes of direction through short diagonals, and worked on leg yields in both directions.  

My instructor said "Do this stuff all week and I bet you'll have a different horse at the end of it."  So, we did this stuff all week and Moch is absolutely a different horse.  There is no pulling.  In today's ride alone there was only two times she attempted falling onto her forehand and speeding up her gait.  That is a marked improvement. 

I'm pretty proud of My Little Pony this week.

The spending spree continues, now she has white DSBs.

Today was pony pedicure day and I knew I wouldn't feel like hauling Moch after that so I rode before our trimmer got there.  Tomorrow it is supposed to rain or I would be taking her for another lesson.  For now, we have homework, and that is what we needed.  I can't thank my instructor enough for getting me on the right track with Moch.  She has also done wonders for my dressage scores with Klein too.  

I am planning on taking her to her first dressage show the first weekend of May.  Once we get some more strength and balance we'll start back over fences again.  I really hope to get her out to her first starter level event this fall.  I have a saddle fitter coming out this Friday to evaluate Klein's saddles and adjust/re-flock as necessary and she will also be doing Mochi too.  That way I have an idea of what I want to start looking for as far as a jumping saddle for her.


  1. This sounds EXACTLY like what I'm working on with my pony right now!

  2. Great progress! Glad you are having fun with her again. :-)