Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Riding in a Wind Storm! What Fun!

He seemed so relaxed in the stall that I got brave and decided I'd try to ride without lunging first. I've explained before why I lunge nearly EVERY time I ride: 1)He's stalled all day long unless the weather is really good so I want to give him a chance to get the bucks out (though he doesn't have many) and he listens better after working off some energy. 2)We're still working (maybe we'll always be) on improving respect and discipline. SO since I've ridden for a few days in a row I thought it was worth a try. I took his halter and lunge out with me just in case. He was just fine! I could tell he wasn't energetic in the stall and on the walk to the arena. We had a LOT of high winds tonight so there was enough noises outside to make him a little antsy at times and he did one pretty good spook/spin when I had totally slack reins (we were walking) but I rode through it just fine. He did two little bitty spooks, too, near the doors. He rode the lesson quite well and other than when we were loping the only things KAT said to me were "Good!" and reminding me to get after him when he drops his shoulder and comes off the rail. I'm getting better at checking him myself, at least up until the lope. I still need lots of help there. KAT had me do a leg yield left towards the rail and THEN ask for the lope. He had the best lope-off EVER. KAT surmises that his head tossing is his way to protest having to work harder and that makes sense (I still have my name on the list for the Dentist on the 19th, though, just in case.) and told me to pull him down and in. It worked. It's kind of gross, but when he tosses his head high enough he hits me in the face with spit. Yummy. He did pretty well at stretching forward and down and was even doing so me pretty even and smooth circles. I'm finding that I'm able to keep my weight back more and I think that's helping him keep off his front. I can even tell that it helps him in the corners. I think that means my equitation is getting better!

I'm working on his ground tying skills since picking hooves in the aisleway keeps the mud out of the stall. He is so funny though that it's almost more amusing to let him fondle things to see what he does than to keep him standing still and out of trouble. Tonight he picked up his other saddle pad off the rack and then set it down on the ground. I had my tack box closed (so he can't get the treats) and while I was picking his back hoof he opened the box and started to root around. Clever pony.

I put his new clean blanket back on him but somewhere along the way I've misplaced the leg straps. They're either in my sewing room (did a few repairs before taking it back to the barn) or I left them at the cleaners. I'll find them tomorrow.


  1. My dressage trainer Sarah says that a proper leg yield will push a horse onto the bit, I assume the same thing applies for Western training. I have trouble with my canter transitions in lessons too, Werther tends to get a buck in, he has to test and see just how hard he has to work. Sometimes I feel like dressage and hunters have a 180 degree difference and I'm learning to ride all over again, so I am still a little clumsy with the dressage cues for the canter.

    Ellie and Werther Blog

  2. Here is an exercise I do called a leg-yeild to canter. I got it from the 101 Dressage Excercise Book which is chock full of exercises that are great for your horse.

    Begin working in the sitting trot down the long side of the arena.

    Coming out of the short end leg-yield away from the rail, say from F to E, Pick up the canter and ride a half circle across the arena to M, transition to a walk, halfway through the short end, transition to a trot and repeat the excercise in the opposite direction. Repeat entire sequence several times.

    I really recommend the book. I work from it all the time.