Saturday, May 27, 2017

Lesson 5/18

As usual I have a little bit of catching up to do! It seems to be my norm these days... oh well. I do what I can with what time I have.

We have been to the third Heart of Texas series show, but before I write aboiut that I want to put up a quick blip about the lesson before the show, as it explains some of the tack changes I've done in the last few weeks.

It's been kind of bonkers around here as usual. While we haven't had the tornados and hail that others have, we've had two really bad wind storms here, one of which took out a large branch in the pasture. The other blew our roof to smithereens, and it was so bad that the insurance company actually totalled it. But, we have a nice new roof now, so... win win?

Aside from all that, things are going well. After the last show, I started thinking about bits and the number of pelhams I have been seeing in competition. The old rule on dress code was that you had to pick a discipline as your chosen attire and then stick with it, tack and all. With dressage, that obviously meant dressage tack and dress, and a dressage legal bit.
This year they changed that. You can now use whatever bit you need, barring of course a number of twisted wires, gags, and the like. But there is no longer any reason you can't show in a pelham if you're riding dressage.
Before, I would have only been able to choose between a simple snaffle and a double bridle. Dylan goes well in a snaffle, but for speed it gets kind of complicated as he turned into a firebreather. A double bridle isn't a convenient option - it's hard enough to do things like picking up a pole and a jug and opening a gate when you only have one set of reins. When you have to hold four reins in one hand at the same time.... it's too hard for me to do at my current skill level.

So, I decided to try the pelham too. With converters.
My childhood trainers would have beaten me with a second set of reins if they ever saw me doing that.
But... it's a different sport. It's worth a try.

The jury is still out on whether or not I actually like it. I may go back to the snaffle.

I rode him twice on my own with this pelham, and then took him to a lesson on the Thursday before my show. Whether or not the pelham had anything to do with it or not, we just didn't have that great of a lesson overall. The greatest thing about riding with Louisa for me is the way she has with words. She always has some fantastic analogy to help me visualize what she means, and once I can get it in my head, I just GET it.

But for some reason that day, I just could NOT get it. We were trying to do suppling and lateral work, and she was trying to explain to me how to move my inside rein in order to let go of it. For whatever reason it backfired in my head, and I ended up using the rein in excess instead of being able to let it go. When you pull on Dylan, he spirals his opposing hind leg outward, and you completely disengage him. We just could. Not. Get it together.

Finally she stopped me, and thought for a minute. She then explained to me the analogy of driving a pair of horses. Think about the inside horse, she said, and then imagine the outside horse helping to push the inside horse over instead of pulling the inside horse around. That clicked in my head and made sense, and then suddenly we were able to get it. We were even able to practice some quarter pirouettes at the end of things.

But what would an only so-so lesson mean for our show that weekend? Well you'll just have to wait and find out...


The second part of this is that I also have a few other pictures from the last WE show to share! These extra ones got posted after the fact and they're just as awesome as the other ones. They can hold you off until the next group of pictures from the most recent show can be posted.

Double slalom

Spearing ring with garrocha

Really Dylan.....


  1. Look into forked reins for your Pelham. The roundings activate both direct and leverage all the time, this causes the chain to tend to pull back across the chin groove giving an unclear signal. The forked reins activate the leverage only whe the horse comes above a certain point (you preset this by adjusting the length of the lower fork). Worked for me.

  2. I LOVE THOSE!!!! Going to order a pair! Thanks for the suggestion!

  3. What - you can't juggle 4 reins, grab a pole, still steer your horse and remember where you are going? It's so simple tho!!! :) lol. errr.

  4. You guys look amazing and I can't wait to see pictures from your next show :)