Joy’s Training Log

Log is in descending chronological order.

Going forward – July 2017

  • Show? – Upcoming. Going to try for dressage schooling show on July 8th. Training Level (maybe).

June 2017

  • Second Lesson – Ridden. Worked on correct contact with bit. Trailered excellent.
  • Picking up true lead 99% of time. Now unable to pick up counter canter when asked.
  • Working on expanding arena.
  • Went back to bareback riding to try to prevent me from leaning during canter transitions.
  • Lots of trot/canter/trot transitions. Less “racing” around, but not using inside hind well.
  • Trail riding bareback.

May 2017

  • First show (local, open show) – Went great. Won both Walk/Trot Classes.
  • First lesson – Ground training. Trailered well.

April 2017

  • More reliably picking up correct canter lead with correct bend.
  • Leg yielding consistently to and from ‘rail’.
  • SI and HI getting easier at trot – not sure on bend in SI though.
  • Walk pirouettes held longer and in tighter circles (still large circles, but progressing).
  • Cantering more than 5 strides causes her to fall on forehand and speed up, while ignoring all half-halt attempts.
  • Becomes anxious/tense quickly, chomps bit, and either braces or ducks behind contact. If I fix forward, I get too much tension. If I ignore forward, she stays relaxed but is terribly sluggish to leg aids.
  • First haul – Success!
  • First haul to new place – Success. (neighbors house).

March 2017

  • No riding first 21 days.
  • Teeth done. Club foot getting better. Cough causing issues, removed the hay that was suspected cause.

Feb 2017

  • Limited riding. Out of state 1/4 of month. Lots of snow.
  • Both canter leads getting better.
  • Strike off to canter still bumpy, but more prompt.
  • HI and SI getting more consistent and supple.
  • Leg yields getting more fluid.

Jan 2017

  • Starting to get a left lead canter with correct bend.
  • Right lead canter with correct bend coming along well.
  • Both canter leads off leg aid instead of “kissing” cue.
  • Limited riding in beginning of month. Ice and too low temps rest of Jan.

2016 Year in Review video

Dec 2016

  • Struggling with connection.
  • Struggling with tension.
  • A couple of  really nice canter steps,  but mostly not.
  • SI and HI getting more bend and bigger steps (bigger by “Joy” standards) .
  • Walk pirouette,  quarter turns,  getting more rhythmic on smaller circles.
  • Started snowing Dec 8th and hasn’t quit.  Measuring snowfall in feet. Training comes to a grinding halt, yet again.

Nov 2016

  • Lateral work improving.
    • Can zig-zag leg yield fairly well and stay straight.  Still have some issues with haunches trailing.
    • SI and HI are more forward in trot.  Able to hold either longer.
    • Walk Piroutte,  quarter turns, improving.  Still more bumbles than decent ones.
  • Incremental improvements in canter departs.

Oct 2016

  • Haunches-in and shoulder-in at trot getting easier. Still very wobbly.
  • Slowed tempo down for better balance.
  • Developing more straightness.
  • Outside rein is more effective.
  • Canter right is more balanced and able to do leg-yield in canter.
  • Canter left is hosed up. Once in it, it’s like a freight train. It’s terrible.
  • Half the month off due to work. No riding.

Sept 2016

  • Go buttons almost good, needs more tweaking but much improved.
  • Better acceptance of bit. Still ducking behind, but easier to get back in front of bit.
  • Lateral work progressing well at walk. Wobbly and resistant of contact at trot.
  • Beginning work on canter depart in true bend. Right lead easier. Left non-existent.
  • Trail riding is non-existent and Joy is freaking out on trail alone.

August 2016 (late)

  • Joy sound, out of shape.
  • Working on stretching side to side.
  • Canter severely regressed.
  • Less than half a month of riding, with only a handful of rides.

June 2016 through late August 2016 

  • Lame.

May 2016

  • New bit for Joy.
  • Successfully loaded Joy in trailer and shut all dividers.
  • Picking up correct leads both ways. Still not in true bend.
  • STILL FREAKING SNOWING!!!!!
  • Reinstate Shoulder-in and haunches-in at walk.
  • Head tilting.
  • Canter still very unbalanced.
  • Go buttons better.
  • Accepting bit somewhat better. Still ducking behind or barging into it significantly.
  • Trail riding going well.
  • End of May Joy dead lame.

April 2016

  • Begin riding Joy again. Not consistent riding.
  • Lateral work only consisting of  leg-yield. No SI or HI.
  • Work on picking up canter with true bend. Not effective.
  • Small bits of true connection when on a straight line.

Jan 2016 through March 2016

  • No riding. Everything covered in ice.

Dec 2015

  • Limited riding. Snow.
  • Joy rooting the reins out of my hands.
  • Forward off a light aid improving.
  • Shoulder still popping out.
  • Not straight.

Nov 2015

  • No outside rein.
  • Ignoring the left leg.
  • Limited time to ride.
  • Some trail riding.
  • Snow starts.

Oct 2015

  • Starting to reach for the bit to a degree.
  • Lazy off the leg aid. Routinely completely ignores leg.
  • Canter unbalanced and not bent in the direction of travel.
  • Haunches-in all over the place and head tilts.
  • Losing the outside shoulder, too much bend, no bend, not straight, etc.
  • Few weeks of riding during all of October. Skipped the last week.

Sept 2015

  • We have a rudimentary arena on a slope.
  • Can only get left lead canter.
  • Stretchy trot is non-existent.
  • Limited acceptance of bit.
  • Shoulder-in at walk is somewhat better, but wobbly, and all over the place.
  • Can get one or two steps of haunches-in at walk occasionally.
  • Not able to pick up correct canter leads either way.
  • First trail ride alone.

August 2015

  • Mainly trail riding.
  • Beginning concepts of listening to the seat and half halts.
  • Limited riding time available.

July 2015

  • Purchased bareback pad for Joy.
  • Begin very rudiments of shoulder-in.
  • Go buttons somewhat more instilled.
  • Steering is beginning to take shape.
  • Still no acceptance of bit.
  • First trail ride.

June 2015

  • Handful of rides working on steering, stopping, and beginning concepts of moving away from the leg.
  • More desensitization work.
  • Search for a pony saddle.
  • Still no arena to ride in.
  • Still not even considering trail riding Joy yet.

May 2015

  • Desensitization training.
  • Fly spray and hose = scary.
  • Lame for several weeks due to injury (Ava is a bully).
  • No arena to ride in.
  • Steering still iffy.
  • Go buttons slightly less sticky, but still requires double heel boot to the ribs to trot.

April 2015

  • Purchased Joy.
  • Lack of tack to fit a pony limited our riding to twice that month.
  • No arena to ride in.
  • Limited steering.
  • No “Go” buttons.
  • Zero acceptance of bit.