January 30, 2014

A Wonderful Wednesday

1/29/14 lesson recap.

I have been finding that doing groundwork before riding helps A LOT. Her attitude is 10x better when I work with her on the ground before taking the leap of faith and mounting up. Unfortunately, her usual bit (Myler comfort snaffle d-ring w/ hooks) is being borrowed, so she is in the Myler kimberwicke for now. I noticed that she was really mouthy with the bit, and she seemed a bit disturbed about it, but she quit chomping/gaping her mouth open after awhile.

We worked on small circles and passing other horses. The small circles have improved a lot.  Making her turn used to be such a chore, but more outside leg and a tighter outside rein have fixed that issue.  She was turning on a dime today! I'm used to having to argue with her over everything, be it walking in a straight line or leg yielding. The first turn we did was so sharp and precise (an immediate response to my cue) that I nearly fell off out of surprise. As far as passing other horses went, we have gotten substantially better since last week's lesson. Once again, the issue was not using enough outside leg and letting my outside rein fall forward. Go figure... it always comes back to the outside leg and outside rein.

As far as asking her to collect goes, it is definitely coming along. I can feel and see the difference now that I have switched from seesawing the reins to the new way (inside rein up slightly, outside rein back slightly, a light squeeze with my calves, and a looser rein). I noticed that she does get a little behind the vertical; I'm sure that this is probably just both her and I being new to the concept of collection. Needless to say, I will be sure to look into the issue anyway.

Ypke didn't have the "quit after 30 minutes" attitude today! She seemed eager to work, probably because of all the small circles, passes, and reverses we were doing. Ypke is definitely the kind of horse that needs a job to do; putzing around in circles for an hour is not her type of thing.

All in all, I am really happy with how the lesson went.


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