Pogo sticks are fun!
For the most part of today I found myself wondering what to do. Sonya disappeared off this morning with the level 2 girls for a trek in the Welsh mountains, so I was in sole charge of the yard. I had some students in the morning as they’d come in for lungeing assessments, so between the six of us we got most of the stuff done by 11.30.
Which meant that when I thanked them and sent them off to do what they wanted for the rest of the day, I realised I had very little to do until Sonya and the girls got back. I went and poo-picked the last couple of fields which took all of twenty minutes, mixed feeds (another five minutes gone) and cleaned all the bridles, ticking off another half an hour. I ate lunch as leisurely as I could, walked and played with the dogs and had a cup of tea. And it was still only two o ‘clock. There was a blur in the middle somewhere where I don’t actually remember what I did. I might’ve napped accidentally or something. Because at around three I decided I may as well start afternoon yards. So I went and mucked out all the stables still in use, shifting horses around and replenishing waters. I made up some haynets, and then let the dogs out to play again. Sonya rang at one point to say they were going to be late and asking me to check something in one of the fields for her, so I took a handful of fly masks and wandered down to Cross Country where I then got followed every step I took by the boys. Star was glued to my shoulder, like his life would end if we lost contact. Bless him.
Eventually I gave up looking for stuff to do and sat in the office singing to myself for a bit, until someone turned up looking for Sonya. At which point I just desperately hoped they hadn’t heard me singing! Because I was out of tune for sure. Realising Sky had gone, I got Piper out of the stable she’d been in and was playing fetch with her in the school when they finally got back. Then it was time to saddle up Miss Blossom, Sonya’s young pony, to give her a go in the school.
I spun her on the lunge for a bit first, just to test out the canters. She said “oh no, I’m not going to buck and bronc, I am a beautifully behaved little pony, just get straight on”. And, foolishly, I believed her. I hopped on, and we worked in walk and trot for a while. I realised just how much effort it takes to keep her going. For a little pony, she needs a lot of leg! I got some decent trot going in the end though, and then Sonya suggested I have a go at the canter. The first transition was appalling, and confusing. She doesn’t really buck you see, she kind of pogoes. It’s like a bunny hop, she just jumps in the air and lands in almost the same spot. Which confused me, because even though I’ve seen it, it’s very different when you’re on top of it so I just thought it was a weird canter stride. She stopped dead after a couple of times, at which point I realised what the game was. So we went again. And got the same fun reaction. Boing boing boing, I’m a pogo pony. This time, however, I was prepared for the feeling, so little miss “I don’t want to” was pushed forward and forward and forward until she gave up.
After that, we got some pretty good canter transitions and for a youngster her canter is very nicely balanced. It’s also pretty comfortable, it’s just a shame she needs so much leg to keep her going. By the end of the lesson though, we got some much nicer more forward thinking canter with no silliness whatsoever.
One thing I’d forgotten about riding such a little snip of a pony is how little there is in front of you. Sonya was laughing at my face when I got on, because looking down there was no neck. If I leant forward, I could touch her nose pretty much. Which meant that when I rode, there was no margin for error when it came to tipping forward. My shoulders had to be completely back, my core engaged and my arms soft. The second I tilted forwards even a millimetre, I felt my whole balance go slightly. Because she’s a pretty balanced little pony, but she needed my balance to be in exactly the right place. Sonya did say that the fact that I’m light enough to ride little ones is a good thing, because it makes you valuable in the horsey world as so few capable riders are small enough for a pony to cope with. I’m slightly taller than the other girls who’ve ridden her though, which is why I had to be extra careful about my upper body. I’ve never thought of myself as being tall or having much in the way of upper body length, but riding Blossom made me feel like a 6 foot streak of a person, because all of me seemed so much higher than her.
She was a good girl though, and she worked quite hard. Sonya reckons I’m the tallest that’s ridden her, and I expect probably the heaviest as well. I know I’m not heavy…but I’m certainly heavier than Tillie and Cha and Danielle, all of whom are titchy little light people. But she didn’t seem to struggle at any point and she started moving much better off my leg towards the end of the session. Despite the hard work, I enjoyed it.
And Sonya wants me to hop on her again tomorrow, so I’ll get to pogo all over again if I’m lucky.
Good job I’m bonkers really.