Highland Pony Enthusiasts Club

Fidley's Diray

Tilly - 23-2-2017 at 10:44 AM

Fidley is my 10 yr old New Forest however her ridden career is currently that of a 4 yr old. She went to get backed three years ago and although she's been "ridden" it's not been with purpose or consistent so December we started lessons so she has consistency and we are working towards balance and understanding of the aids.

The first lesson was met with planting and very unbalanced. We worked on getting the walk.
Next lesson, there was definitely less planting and the walk was more balanced and she softened. The trot had a few issues as did our non existent straight lines. We had poles on the ground and did figure-of-eights to come over them.
The next lessons resulted in no planting, Fidley walking willingly and we were looking to get rhythm in our walk and trot.

It took me a while to get back to it after Christmas so we had one lesson in January. I rode her on Sunday and she was awful but I'd changed things up. Tilly is usually in some part of the field and in sight but I left her in the stable as I don't want them relying on each other. Fidley planted and when I got her forward, I got lots of fly kicking and temper tantrums. The whole session was not pretty but by the end we managed to get some lovely trot work.

Today, I had my lesson and the weather is pants. It was raining heavily and Fidley does not like rain. I gave her a five minute lunge where she was really good. She barely drank anything last night and I gave that excuse to another livery - I'm concerned she's not drank anything so might ride my trusted Highland. I knew I would regret not trying Fidley at the very least so out she came tacked up.

We were very sticky walking out to the field and the instructor had to lead her as I couldn't get her to move off my leg.
We got to the makeshift school (poles laid out on ground) beside the road. She walked off and was very tense so not tracking up and hollow. We worked on changing the rein on a loose rein and she started to take the rein (we worked on this on the last lesson) and she took it. She started to stretch her neck down. Walking around corners we lose balance and she stops. I need to remember to keep my leg on to help her.
Up into trot and we did circles and change the rein and got us both thinking. She really started to relax and seek the rein contact along with a balanced rhymical walk and trot.
We had a couple of baby moments (mine and hers) where lorries went past with the road spray behind them - first time resulted in stopping and looking with eyes out on stalks and second time, we trotted at a quick clip up the field away from the road but we stopped ten paces out and she manages to focus back on me almost instantly.
I am so lucky with my instructor as she is patient with us both and she talks me through everything calmly and quietly.

The aim is to do Interdressage every month and January was our first month where we achieved 66.32% (I'd hoped for 50-55%). We've not managed to record this months yet as unfortunately that was to be on Sunday and she wasn't playing ball.

Katherine - 23-2-2017 at 11:48 AM

Sound like your making great progress and respecting her training level and not pushing to fast as she is older. Great job :clap:

L-J - 23-2-2017 at 12:19 PM


Tilly - 23-2-2017 at 04:17 PM

Quote: Originally posted by Katherine  
Sound like your making great progress and respecting her training level and not pushing to fast as she is older. Great job :clap:

Thanks :) I got her as a 3yr old and her primary job is companion to Tilly.
I never thought I'd be able to sit on her so anything is a bonus and my instructor is amazing and I've always felt that she is mentally behind - when she was 4/5 she was like a yearling, 6/7, like a 3 year old and it was only when she seemed mentally ready that she went to a professional backer with a long spiel of "don't worry if you can't back her as I'm not expecting much." She was home 6 weeks later and they were able to sit on her in week 1.
My instructor now is treating her like a 4 yr old and says that's her level now (which is interesting as I've been saying she's now a 4/5 year old).

We're aiming to shoot our February dressage test tomorrow and if we do, I'll post a link.

Katherine - 24-2-2017 at 09:17 AM

Good stuff hope you can I'd love to see it:clap:

Midge - 24-2-2017 at 11:57 AM

Lovely to have the time to treat her as she needs! I'll second Katherine, love to see her dressage test :D

Tilly - 24-2-2017 at 04:08 PM

She was fab today. We had a few sticky moments as we have to pass a scary garden to get to the field but we got there. We had some really nice moments in our warmup once I got her to loosen up in walk. Trotting - I could feel her engaging behind and she naturally brings her head down. We worked on getting her to stretch in walk.
I don't ride as well as soon as I think "test" but I'm pleased with this test.

Here it is:

Edited to add: Our score for this test is 67.37% so a 1 percent increase from our first one. We're currently 13/20 riders with another two waiting on their scores.

[Edited on 1-3-2017 by Tilly]

Jenni - 24-2-2017 at 05:13 PM