Wordy Wednesday

I was gonna do wordless Wednesday, but I have too much to say. I have many, many words.

I rode Henry last night. It wasn't a spectacular ride by any means, just a normal ride where we worked on normal things. He went ok, worked into the contact better, was in front of my leg most of the time, was better at the lateral work we have been practicing. I kept it short and when he ticked all the boxes I called it a day.

I asked Andrew to film it for me though, because I haven't seen us go on the flat for a while. I was looking for improvements, looking to confirm what I feel, and looking to see where I had let things slip.

One of the things I thought felt better was my position. These days I feel like I sit taller and stronger than I used to. Looking at the video, it is generally so much better. I get a bit floppy at the canter still, but over all I am stronger in the saddle. My hands are still a bit wide though, and I need to take more contact, but I will keep working on it.
February 2018

Secondly, I was hoping that in his growing Henry had also filled out a bit. Henry is about 16hh, but he is narrow, short in the back and has very long, supermodel legs. It seems to me that he looks the same size, if not smaller than Coolie in pictures with me riding him. Coolie, for the record is dead on 15.2hh but a little bit broader. Once again, my feelings were right, Henry looks to be taking up my leg a little better. I am hoping he is about done growing now and can dedicate some energy to bulking up a bit.
Our first lesson this year

We fit together a bit better now

I also wanted to see how Henry was carrying himself. He is a typical thoroughbred in that he is downhill and on the forehand. In another life I think he was a Western Pleasure horse, he would like to spend his whole life with his nose on the floor. I have been working hard to get him to lift his shoulders, engage his quarters and get the push from behind. Again, this is an area where there are definite improvements. Henry looks much more up in his shoulders and appears to be pushing better from behind. There is still plenty of work to be done, but I am pleased with the improvement. I will note that his canter is pretty much always uphill, and by far his best pace.
So downhill - earlier this year

Not the best comparison because he is cantering but he is more upright

Things to work on include my hands, and me actually having some contact. I like to be light, Henry likes to be light, and as such there is not a lot going on there. Henry needs to get more consistent across everything but really things are progressing nicely.

It's fun to look back and see just how much improvement has been made over the last 18 months. When you are the rider it can be hard to see the changes, to step back and see the bigger picture. He is really coming along and while progress can seem slow, we are getting there and I am hopeful that next year might see us out eventing. No rush though, he is only 5.   

It's getting to be quite a nice picture now!


  1. That’s awesome that the video could confirm your feelings and give you so much more insight into how Henry is developing ! Definitely much preferred to the alternative where everything feels great and then you watch the video and are like .... oh dear god what was I thinking ..... lol

    1. Oh, I have had plenty of the alternative! It was nice to have things confirmed but also to look at what needs work too.


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