Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Lessoning on Ronnie!(Pontential Lease/Own)

  This past summer, Meghan had me ride Ronnie, a bay Belgian/TB mare, several times, though I had primarily been riding Chester. Ronnie is a nice mare, levelheaded, and has dressage training through Second Level(has been schooled in some Third Level with Meghan). Each time I've ridden her, I have enjoyed her and have become even more comfortable on her too. Ronnie has been to many dressage shows with her owner, Ann.

 Monday, Megan put me on Ronnie another time. This is only the fourth time I've ridden her, but I felt like I did well. As I rode, I focused on making her round, going through the corners, and keeping me arms and body soft and relaxed, the latter which is something I tend to have trouble with at the canter.

 I put Ronnie on a 20 meter trot circle at B so I could prepare for canter, but I had to work on the circle multiple times because I had trouble making the circle round enough. To fix this, I needed to use more inside leg to push her out, rather than using the outside rein, which should be supporting. Once I had everything worked out, I put my leg back and asked for canter, riding around the circle multiple times. I found myself bracing and not relaxing my body, which made my hands less soft.
A heart clipped on her haunches. 
 The next time cantering, after more trot circles, I took a deep breath and relaxed my body. It was amazing how much better my canter was, and the ones after when I did the same thing. Ronnie is a really nice horse and I feel very confident on her. Her transitions are very smooth as well.
This one and the ones after are from Wednesday. Look at her cute face!

 After cantering on a circle both ways, I cantered straight down the arena, then began learning one of the new 2015 dressage tests, Training Level Test 1.  The test is pretty simple: A down centerline, X halt salute. C track left, 20 meter circle at E. At A, make another 20 meter circle, cantering in the first corner, which is between A and F, continuing on the circle and down the long side with the trot after B. C is the medium walk all down to E, with a short diagonal in free walk to F. At A is the trot, at E a circle right, at C another 20 meter circle right, with the right lead canter in between C and M. Trot at B, then up centerline once at A.
On the bit, and my position is pretty good. I just need to keep my elbows bent and my leg needs to go a teensy bit back.

 In that test, the judges look for a horse that is supple, moving freely in steady tempo and clear rhythm and accepting contact with the bit.  I'm happy to say the test went well and met all that criteria, except accepting contact with the bit still needs more practice on my part. Meghan says it was show quality!

 Wednesday I rode her again. I had another great ride and have really been making progress. I feel comfortable and confident on her, which is good, and enjoy riding her. Throughout my lesson, I continued to ask Ronnie to become to round, which is difficult, but I was able to get her on the bit multiple times throughout the lesson, managing to hold it for longer amounts.

Happy horse!
 I still had difficulty using enough inside leg to keep Ronnie at all the points on the 20 meter circles, so I worked on this a lot. When you do dressage, my trainer said, the reins are for connecting the horse on the bit, not steering. I especially needed to remember this for the canter transition on the circle. Ronnie is sensitive, so I needed to use more inside leg rather than outside leg in the canter so she doesn't get confused.

 Once I had done a lot of walking, trotting, and cantering in both directions and had worked on getting Ronnie on the bit, I rode the Training Level Test 1 through twice. Besides the fact that I wasn't using enough inside leg for the canter circle at C, I felt it went really well. I was able to get her on the bit and she was relaxed and moving in a consistent tempo.
Cantering! California winters can be grey and chilly.

 I had two really great lessons on Ronnie. Ronnie's owner has been serious about finding a home for  her and has offered her to me for a great deal that includes all the equipment and is half of what she is worth, but I still need to talk with my parents. They are not quite sure their ready to make the investment. However, I might, might be able to full lease her until May and then my parents will make a decision. I'm all for having Ronnie. I love Ronnie, enjoy riding her, and Meghan believes she is a great match for me. Ronnie performs very well when I ride her and because she is young(about 13) and already has been schooled through Third Level by Meghan, I can move up the levels with her and hopefully even qualify for the junior state championships in 2015! As I said we have reached no decisions yet, but I will keep the blog posted!


  1. Oh how exciting! you two look great together, she's a beautiful mare. I hope it works out well!

  2. you two look great together! she's got such a sweet expression :) and it's so so important to feel comfortable and confident with your horse. in any case - it'd be great to do a full lease first too, to be completely sure. in any case good luck figuring it all out!

  3. You look great oner. Looks like a great horse. I love the idea of testing her out in a lease before buying.

    1. Thanks Yeah, she does seem like a great horse and hopefully by leasing her I can see how good of a fit she is.

  4. How exciting for you! You look wonderful on Ronnie and seem like a great match. I hope it works out!!


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