When in doubt: transitions, transitions, transitions.

I need to write a blog post.

I actually have several posts I would like to publish, but it’s going to take significantly more effort to pull them together than what I have in me today.


Saturday I was tired and did not feel like driving out to the barn to ride. Mostly I didn’t feel like driving. Or riding. I feel like I always have to be mentally and physically prepared to take on Cho. I have to be all in. I can’t just lazily hack around on my horse because we will literally not go anywhere because she is also lazy.

I knew I had to go ride, but I didn’t have a plan and I was too tired to execute one.

My motivation to get to the barn? “I will just work on myself! All the two-point!”

I’m not really sure what that says about me, but there you go. I convinced myself to drive out to the barn and ride because of two-point practice, aka self torture.

However, I do believe that was one of my 2015 goals (I don’t know, that seems like such a long time ago, the details are a little fuzzy) so…mission accomplished! And now I have a baseline of trotting two-point (1.5 laps in each direction) that I must build upon. I also did some canter laps but those are way easier and I’m not counting them.


I can do Crossfit and squats with barbells and heavy weights but my ankles, calves, shins, and quads are screaming after about half a lap of two-point at the trot. Not to mention the core workout you get. An actual core workout on my horse! WHAT.

Moving on.

Sunday was a “long walk” day. Not surprisingly, I was still feeling pretty lazy. It was also hellishly windy. Even if we had wanted to work in the indoor (which obviously we didn’t since the sun was out and the fields were empty) we couldn’t have, because the wind was blowing dust and dirt and sand everywhere.

Spent about an hour walking and working correctly. Going up and down the stretch of hill in the pasture, straight.

I could tell she was getting tired when she wanted to trot and wanted to trot because it’s easier to curl and dump everything on the forehand. So, we had a few bits of trotting that involved NOT dumping ourselves onto the forehand and then I called it good and we finished off on the buckle.

Yesterday? Still lazy. Me, not her. She was fine.

I spent a large portion of the day and my drive out there going “WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO I DON’T KNOW I NEED TO PICK SOMETHING TO WORK ON AND I DON’T KNOW.”

So, transitions.
Long walk warm up. Suppling work. walk halt walk. A lot.
Long, straight lines in trot, gradually working into big bending lines, eventually asking for more.
And then:
trot walk trot
trot halt trot
on circles
in lines
across diagonals
over and over and over

trot canter trot
canter no legs!
trot canter trot

When given a loose rein break, Cho doesn’t just pick back up where you left off. Often I have to go back to simple walk/halt/walk and trot/walk/trot/halt/trot/etcforalloftime transitions to get her back on the aids. It’s slightly, mildly maddening. And the reason why at shows we enter the warm up ring and do not stop until we are finished with our test.

Going on the left rein in all things was a challenge. She wasn’t listening to my inside leg or outside rein, so especially in the canter I kept using my inside rein too much even though I was really trying to put that hand FORWARD and ride PROPERLY, she was running into the trot after the canter like the cart racing horse she often thinks she is, anticipating every little twitch of my body to make sure she DID NOT MISS THE CANTER TRANSITION MUST CANTER, and so on and so forth. Finally I got after her with my inside leg like I should have 20 minutes earlier, we cantered around in counter-flexion for the reminder that cantering in true flexion REALLY IS EASIER, and ended on a stretchy hand gallop around the arena.

Perhaps by Friday I’ll be feeling less lazy and meh about training. If not there is always jumping?


“Why are we going over this when it’s so much easier to just go around?”  (Cho with Natalie, September 2014)

When in doubt: transitions, transitions, transitions.

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