Look, a real, live puzzle to put together!
Why do I constantly mention how complex Mochs is to ride? Surely she can't be THAT complex, right? You guys, I have owned this pony coming up on six years this September and she IS that complex. There have been days when I have been at a loss, days where I'm completely confused by her, and then days where she is the best thing I've sat on all day. This makes her sound like she has multiple personality disorder, but she doesn't. None of those days are from attitude. She has never fit the typical "pony" stereotype.
If she's acting crazy it can be anything from frustration, to a new movement that is hard for her to hold, to maybe it being time for a tack adjustment (gullet change due to improved fitness, etc...). You have to listen to her. There's ALWAYS a reason she does what she does. She never does anything to just generally be disrespectful or "mareish," which I'm still not even sure what that is because my mares don't act like what people describe "mareish" to be.
She has taught me to be more aware of my body than any other horse I have ever ridden. She's sensitive to the SLIGHTEST most TINY adjustments you can make with any part of your body and requires them to also be very independent. She responds immediately to seat aids, she doesn't ask for much in the way of contact, and if you talk too much on the outside rein, she will tell you to knock that shit off. She takes micro adjustments. For example if you touch the saddle just 5cm behind where you were at the trot, that may be all she needs, any more and she won't go quietly, any less she won't go quietly. She's one of those horses that if you don't ride her right, you'll be riding a mess, there is no pretending with her. Either you ride her correctly, or you don't.
What is a mess? And what happens when you don't ride her correctly? She falls on her forehand, she's not steady in the bridle, she'll be fussy with contact. You have to be quiet, consistent, make tiny adjustments if needed, and listen for her to approve. It is loud and clear when she approves because you have a nice, balanced, quiet, steady, yet super responsive pony on the flat and over fences.
Some of this may be because of her size, but definitely not all of it. You can't have too much contact, and you can't have too little. She is fairly light, and when you're screwing up, she'll get heavy in your hand and you'll wonder wtf is going on. You. You are what's going on, and you have to fix yourself.
This may sound like not a lot of fun to some people but, I love it. She has taught me so much by making me develop new skills. The reminders she gives me with my own riding are priceless.
Also she sure is feeling amazing after this last round of injections. She feels the best she has felt in years. She is also getting more and more fit now that she is in regular work. I am still riding her several days a week with a lunge line workout once a week. I can tell she is making strength gains because she is now also stretching down at the walk and trot and lifting her back a lot more than she ever has. She really is feeling great and it shows.
Mochs lives in Back on Track products. If you have been thinking about getting any of Back on Track's boots, do it.
She is also going in a Golden Wings gag now (still a french link Boucher or Loose Ring Snaffle for dressage). I tried her in a french link 3 ring one evening for a little jump school and she was amazing. The only downside is that the mouthpieces were just a little too fat for her little pony mouth. She now has a Golden Wings, which not only has smaller mouthpieces, but also the wings that protect the corners of the mouth and guarantee no pinching or rubbing. It has worked out perfect for her.
Here she was yesterday evening:
I'm beyond happy to be able to take her places again.