Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Anthony Lothian Clinic: Day 2

Show Buddy had a lesson right after me, so I made her
stop and pose for a picture. Her mare, Tally (long-time readers will
remember I leased her years ago!) was not a fan of Annie, hahaha.
After Anthony's ride on Saturday, I was looking forward to my turn on Sunday morning. In fact, I was a bit sad I didn't ride both days, haha. Unfortunately for me, I had had a little mountain-biking accident Saturday evening which rendered me a bit... incapacitated. A variety of NSAIDs later and I was feeling slightly better, but still incredibly stiff and sore. 10/10 do not recommend doing a front flip down a steep cliff-side with your bike.

It didn't stop me though - I was going to ride my horse come hell or high water. And ride I did.

Pictured: riding.
When I hopped on to warm up in the grassy opening, Annie was tight. Tight and resistant. I don't know if it was body soreness from the day before, or if she just felt like being a spicy bean, but she was not having any of it. I tried to focus on lengthening and lowering her - asking her to relax into the contact and move rhythmically. She did, for the most part, but as soon as we addressed the canter, the wheels fell off. 

I had a tail-cracking, cross-firing, tense mess under my seat. And boy, oh boy, riding it out was not fun. Had I not been injured, I'm sure I could have been more effective, but I mostly just did what I could and kept asking her to still do the things while she was having her tizzy. Unfortunately, Annie just wasn't really working with me, so we duked it out for a lot longer than I would have liked for a warm-up.

Not unhappy in here!
Our canter right was particularly terrible, and any time we cantered away from the arena, she would swap leads. So I kept pressing on, insisting she do the thing and she do it correctly. It felt like a lifetime of hoppy, bracey circles, but we ended it on a good note and I parked her near the ring and waited for our lesson.

In no time at all, we were wandering into the ring and our lesson was underway. Anthony said he had looked over at our warm up at one point and said, "Looked like a bit of a excitement over there, what's going on?" I explained the cross-firing and lead changes, as well as what I as doing to attempt to rectify the issue.

The cutest little bean <3 
We focused primarily on the items we addressed in Anthony's ride, and how some of my bad habits intensify the negative aspects. We worked a lot on the flat, keeping her haunches straight and encouraging her to both lift and lower her frame. In no time at all, we moved onto the jumping and I was eager to pop over some "bigger" (to us) fences. Interesting to note, Annie offered exactly zero hijinks at the canter, and aside from one wrong lead, was quite amicable to maneuver and play around with. Which, kinda got the brain churning a bit.

Why is it that we have cross-firing and canter issues in the open grass field and the Dressage arena, but never any real issues in the jump ring or indoor? I did note that our schooling ring at home has been a battle-ground a time or two for her misbehavior, but there is a lot of consistency in the issues we have in those two particular spaces. Hmmm... something to think on.

Despite this, Annie felt quite behind the leg and lagging... but I think it had a lot to do with the fact Anthony had rode her quite correctly the day prior. Perhaps sore muscles or just overall body tiredness? Whatever the case, she was certainly tired, but made no excuses and showed up to do the thing and she did it well. We had a fun little three jump course which I repeated a second time, as I felt the initial round was not as polished as it could have been.

It was a bit funny, because I celebrated after the little course, stating that that was our first time jumping fill. Anthony kind of looked at me and I gave an exasperated sigh, throwing my hands up in the air and stated, "I know, I know. A jump is a jump is a jump."

He smiled a bit, and remarked, "A ground pole can be your liverpool. Practice it like that."

I nodded, but retorted with, "I know, but we totally jumped the fill though." 


  1. I am wondering if her tightness is mental - like she worries that she's away from her 'friends' or comfort zone?

    1. It very well could be - I haven't really found what the "trigger" is. It was recommended I haul out a few times a month to practice in the ring and open area in a low-key, more private setting.

  2. She just wants to be a full time hunter pony, duh! :P

  3. I think it's obvious... she just wants to do the jompies all the time! Glad she was a good girl for the lesson part at least!

  4. Look at her being a little professional! And LOL to the exchange with Anthony about fill/ground poles/a-jump-is-a-jump.

  5. Hah, she sounds like Niko! When we're jumping, he's GREAT... on the flat can be questionable. I think he just loves to jump and wants to do what HE wants all the time! To bad that's not how life works, heh