Canter & Candor

Canter and Candor; an honest account of an amateur equestrian and her life with an OTTB

Holy Athleticism, Batman!


I really wish I had video for you guys! Unfortunately I don’t, so my words and more pictures of C’s schnoz will have to suffice.


and you know my supply is unlimited

Sunday I hopped on C and he was even more of a terror than the previous rides. So rather than sitting through it as I had a couple rides prior, I texted the barn’s resident sticky-seat kid, who rode C when he first came to the barn. At first I was worried the naughtiness was all in my head, but when he started the same things with her, I could see it from the ground. Cue simultaneous horror/relief! Anyway, she schooled him for a good twenty minutes. The basis of it was showing him how hard his life could be if he kept being naughty, and thereby demonstrating just how easy it could be if he cooperated. By the end he was behaving himself a bit better, and she popped him over a jump or two. Ever since he nearby faceplanted over a crossrail in the clinic (he was too busy squabbling with me to notice there was a jump under his feet), C has been very careful about jumps, even crossrails.

Still, he overjumped the crossrails by a good two feet with her! And I hadn’t really seen him jump from the ground before, so I was a little in awe. My pony has hops, guys. Even when he’s being a total ass.

Anyway, they finished on a little 2′ vertical and I called it quits. He was good over them, so I figured better to end it there than have me get on and ruin all the work. Besides, he was getting tired (consequences!) so I tossed him in his stall with a half gram of bute. When I came in the morning yesterday, he was being a ground-manners monstrosity so I sort of assumed he’d be the same under saddle.

But wait. No. He was awesome. I think Miss Sticky-Seat put the fear of Hell (a.k.a. actual hard work) into him and he decided to don his halo once more. We had a few baby moments of “Nyeeeeeuuurgh I don’t want to hold myself up!” but otherwise he was a doll for warmup, despite the rain hammering on the roof of the indoor. T was optimistic, having heard a full recounting of the schooling the day prior, that he mulled it over and decided naughty wasn’t worth the effort. Hallelujah.


We had a little crossrails lesson that involved a lot of transitions. Do a triple line with one stride between (the 1’s were on the longer side, imo, but oh well) and trot before the wall. Trot in, canter through, trot out immediately after the last jump. We did a little 2′ vertical near the end though he was getting tired and flat by that point and knocked it down. Honestly, it was fine– he was listening much better, and after a brief argument about sitting on his butt before the jumps instead of hanging out on that forehand, he was pretty easy to work with.

Ahh, my cooperative baby horse returns! … although he does look a little different now.

Tomorrow I leave for England, so I’ll run something by you all– since I won’t be riding C (or any horse, probably), I’m hoping to get a few riding theory/analysis sort of posts out, a bit like the Sitting Versus a Softer Seat post I did a week-ish ago. I’m getting pretty interested in a couple aspects of dressage and specifically how to relate them back to jumping. I also watched a really incredible, informative Beezie Madden demo that I’d be interested in looking a little deeper at. Let me know your thoughts, and if there’re none I’ll spam you with pictures of C– I already miss my little monster.

a picture of innocence

— M


9 thoughts on “Holy Athleticism, Batman!

  1. Sounds like it was a good lesson! Cant believe how different he looks between the two photos!


    • It was! And I know, I’m so thrilled– I’ll also have to get a shot that shows his neck sooner rather than later, but it’ll have to wait till after England!


  2. Something a little different I did with my animals you might want to consider….don’t think I’m crazy….I met with an animal communicator! I have 2 barn friends that have used her and had great insight and I did as well. Check if there are any around if you want to know what’s he is thinking about. It was worth $50 to dial in and ask all the questions I wanted to my cats and horses.


    • Interesting! I don’t think you’re crazy at all. I’m a bit of a skeptic so I’ll probably save the $50 for a massage or something, but I think it’s so cool you had that experience and felt it was enlightening. 🙂


  3. I love sticky-seated kids (and trainers)! Sometimes you just need another person. 🙂


  4. I feel your pain! Although I am excited about my upcoming vacation, I am going to miss my ‘kids!’



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