My husband and kids were away in Perth last night. So I was home alone on a warm WA summer evening with no commitments and no interruptions.
YAY, pony time! I had managed to squeeze in an arena session on Joe the evening before and on Prycie that morning, so that meant Savannah was next in the queue. Quick drink, get changed out of work gear and away we went (well, sorta. First I had to find 5 ponies hiding in the big paddock, catch three to bring in meaning the rest would follow, yard the 4 not being ridden, yada yada yada…
Anyway – I did all of that and rode Savannah. She was actually very good – the forwardness is improving and she has started to reach down into the contact. It was warm, and we were both a bit sweaty, so we called it good after about 40 minutes and she got a well deserved hose off.
Then… well, there was still daylight left, and nobody indoors…
Angel. At the girls tetrathlon training last weekend it was suggested by the coach that Angel would benefit form an occasional “tune up” from an adult rider – that would be me. And now looked like a good time to do it….
Now don’t get me wrong, I love Angel. She arrived here after not being ridden for 18 months and immediately adapted to her new role as carrier of small nervous child. In 6 months my daughter was transformed from someone who was not sure she wanted to ride any more, to someone who hoons around at trot and canter bareback and happily jumps 2 feet. She challenges Lauren now that lauren is asking her more, but always in a safe way, and Lauren LOVES her. She can also be used to pack adult beginners around.
However, she is also a lady of advanced years and strong opinions. She is HAPPY doing what she does thank you very much, and sees no reason to do any more. She is also built like the proverbial brick outhouse, with a neck that most weight lifters would be proud of:
But she has started to take small advantages, such as yanking the reins to snatch a bite of grass, and cutting in on the corners in flatwork lessons in order to sneak her way back to the rest of the ponies..
So yes, a tune up was in order. Specifically, a GET OFF MY LEG tune up.
So I saddled her. She and I eyed each other off. I swear she knew what was coming – as clear as day in her eyes I could see her saying “There is no small person in this equation, you are wearing your helmet, and the boys are not being saddled. BRING IT ON, lady.”
30 minutes later, we had reached an agreement, and had achieved some leg yielding. She was relatively calm about it. I was an exhausted ball of sweat. Angel had condescended to move off my leg, and to start to use herself round corners and step through with her inside hind leg. She has an education in there somewhere, and when she is moving she can do so very nicely.
But I’m still not sure which one of us was getting the tune up…