Lovely horsey morning

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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I really had to kick myself to go over to the field to ride today, but I'm so glad I did.

Got to the boys about 9am and they came hurrying down for their breakfast. I shut Sid in the shelter with his feed and let Mattie in onto the long grass. While Sid ate I brushed him - he loves a brush and doesn't mind it happening while he's eating - then went for the bareback pad. I tacked him up loose and there was no grumpiness or faces, he was quite happy. I put the pad on skew whiff, but didn't notice until later (tack dork).

We walked up the lane and up the steep hill to the competition yard at the top where there's always lots going on: mares with foals, fields full of youngsters, fields that have fences one day and not the next, diggers and lorries full of gravel, screaming stallions, you get the picture. I led Sid through with no problems and along the top of the hill to the woods, where there is a great big log I thought I could get on from.

I could get on, and at that point I noticed that the pad was not centred, so I got off, ungirthed it, moved it, did it up again and got on again. He stood quietly and steady while I mounted. No swish of the tail when I landed or asked him to walk on.

He was very good, though I notice that when something bothers him his immediate response is to turn around: this time it was an invisible but loud logging lorry in the quarry below the path. I caught him in time and insisted he went on straight. He doesn't argue, though I can feel his tension and how he relaxes when we're past the scary thing. I notice that my control and balance is better when I try to sit on the bareback pad as if it were one of the saddles without stirrups that the Spanish riding school use, and keep my leg in riding position exactly as if I had stirrups. It's a bit more work but I seem to be able to use my core better. See, you can't see the difference with and without stirrups when they do it:

Screenshot 2021-06-07 at 17.17.59.png

I rode him for maybe 25 minutes around the tracks at the top (one of my favourite rides) and slipped off to lead him down one gully track which is steep and very stony. At the bottom I had decided to get on again but the sides of the gully were v-shaped and it was really hard. I was under his belly at one point and my mounting ended up somewhere between a crawl and a scramble.Sid stood totally still. He could so easily have prevented me from mounting with just one foot moving, but he didn't stir. I managed it up in the end, and we headed for home along the lane. There were cars, and we needed to get to a lay by: for the first time I asked him for a trot, and he responded cheerfully with a trot that was way too brisk for me bareback, but settled back to walk the moment I asked. At the end of the lane (about another 20 minutes) we met my YO in her top field, and I slipped off and Sid stood with me while we chatted for 10 minutes.

Then back to the shelter and I brushed him again, did his mallenders and his heels, put on his fly rug and mask, and all of the time he was alternately dozing and putting his nose on my shoulder.

I just love him. I can't wait till we can get out with the saddle and have a bit of a canter. Not long now!

My legs ache...
 
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Skib

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Dec 21, 2003
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I notice that my control and balance is better when I try to sit on the bareback pad as if it were one of the saddles without stirrups that the Spanish riding school use, and keep my leg in riding position exactly as if I had stirrups. It's a bit more work but I seem to be able to use my core better. See, you can't see the difference with and without stirrups when they do it:
I have not seen the saddles currently used in that school. But the ones used in the time of Podhajsky Jane were very open with only slight knee rolls. I have posted pics before and they would be what I bought if I had a horse of my own. However the leg position is not dictated by the saddle. It isnt like a UK Jessica dressage saddle for instance.

Burkner the German army instructor who won may dressage prizes and trained winnning dressage riders in the 1930s rode in a similarly open saddle. The more upright one is, the less contact there is between one's seat and the horse.

The pictures of the German dressage riders today are totally different and the German riding handbook remains very disapproving of that type of modern saddle..
1623088477726.png


One reason UK dressage riders concentrated on Podhajsky and Austria, was that Germany was banned from the 1948 Olympic Games and the Austrians were not. The Allies were chatting up the Austrians. So Charles Harris went off to Vienna. It was all political and cold war related. The pictures of the German dressage riders today are totally different but the German riding handbook remains very disapproving of that type of modern dressage saddle..
 
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Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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He’s a good egg isn’t he 🤩 finding somewhere to get back on bareback can be a pain, I need it to be so much taller than when I’ve got pedals to help. I have to put my 2 step mounting block on top of a bank at home, it’s very precarious as the bank slips so I can’t get Jess as close as I’d like a have to take a bit of a leap of faith!
 
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Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
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Surrey Hills
a leap of faith!

I daren't leap, partly because I am a dork and might well not make it but also because the last thing I want to do is startle him or cause discomfort. He's had enough of that, and we're just getting over his sourness. I need a really high spot, at least level with his belly, if I'm going to make it on board. As you say, hard to find! But I know our area pretty well and when I'm out with the dogs I cast my eye over tree stumps, thinking, "Tall enough?"
 
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Huggy

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Nov 11, 2018
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I daren't leap, partly because I am a dork and might well not make it but also because the last thing I want to do is startle him or cause discomfort. He's had enough of that, and we're just getting over his sourness. I need a really high spot, at least level with his belly, if I'm going to make it on board. As you say, hard to find! But I know our area pretty well and when I'm out with the dogs I cast my eye over tree stumps, thinking, "Tall enough?"
Oooh yes - tree stump checks - I'm well acquainted with those!
 
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