Monday, 18 December 2017

Simple Pleasures

Who needs summer weather and xc courses to have fun when you can be inside cantering your baby horse around in circles?

I do. I need the summer. But these simple rides are pretty fun for me right now. Basically once Shiraz steps up to canter my brain shuts off and I have no idea what my coach is saying because, 'weeee!' obviously.


In all seriousness though, we are working on so many things! It is the part of baby horse training that I love the most, getting in there and showing them that their bodies can do things! All the typical green horse issues like showing her there are other options besides falling in, reaching for the bit, using her hind end, et cetera.

At the same time, I am trying to stop bending at the wrist, figure out why I cannot keep my lower leg still, and two-point even though my leg muscles abandoned me on their annual winter vacation.


In most of my previous rides, Shiraz would start off hot to trot so to speak and either offer up a trot upon moving off from the mounting block or a bouncy walk if I held her in. This past ride was a bit different in that she instead baulked at my leg and refused to trot until I gave some taps with the crop. Even then, it took a few circles to convince her. Perhaps she has realised lessons are hard work? I feel her pain on this one but telling me no is not an option.

 
Getting Shiraz in front of my leg is the number one goal at the moment. I tend to fall in the trap of being happy with 'good enough' in my rides on my own.When it feels good and relaxed, I do not ask for that extra effort and therefore end up inadvertently rewarding movement where Shiraz is not using her body correctly. I need to expect more every time so I am not building incorrect muscle memory and delaying basic progress.

Canter work is going really well. She responds nicely to the cue and almost always gets the correct lead. Transitions downward are fuggly AF though, but considering I am not getting her to use her body correctly at the canter yet, there simply is not the balance to transition nicely. 



Even though Shiraz is still so very green, her training is ticking along at a lovely pace. She has work ethic and when she doesn't, it is not too dramatic and easily fixed. I am getting a feel for her now and can read her so much better. After an open book like Savvy, it takes a bit more attention to know how far I can push. Where Savvy would kick out in protest or toss her head in distaste, Shiraz will just sort of tense her jaw, stop licking or hold her breath. She responds nicely to me breathing deeply and will often give a big sigh when I let out a deep breath.

And now, ready or not, we are moving on to jumping at our next lesson. I can't wait!!

11 comments:

  1. wow she's really picking up on it, isn't she??? so exciting! i know what you mean about settling for "good enough", esp with a green horse. so hard to break that habit haha! she really looks like she's getting the hang of things tho!

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    1. She is learning so fast! Though she does have years of groundwork under her belt. I'd like to think it has helped her learn to seek answers, handle pressure and the like. But to be honest I am a bit shocked how easy she is being :D!!

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  2. You guys look great!! What a good girl.

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  3. She's a sweetie. Once she figures out to sit back in the canter and not let her powerful hind end push her onto the forehand her downward transition will improve.

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    1. Yup, we'll get there, eventually (I hope?) Despite that powerful hind end, she is so behind my leg so for now we'll be working on turning on the engine and keeping it going without nagging. That Quarter Horse force is strong in her though - she wants to lazy lope like a QH queen, lol.

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  4. I had no idea how much work it takes to teach a horse something! I’m enjoying readng these posts to see how she is coming along.

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    1. It is a lot of work, but it is a lot of fun and so satisfying - especially at this stage where progress can happen quickly. :)

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  5. So exciting watching baby horses come along!

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  6. What a good girl. You two look lovely at this stage of your training, too! Big things ahead it sounds like.

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