Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Neat Stuff About Our Week.

Following a challenge from one of my fellow bloggers: Eventer79 I am attempting a month with no stirrups. I am perfectly aware that riding with no stirrups in a western saddle is MUCH easier than in an English. But regardless of how "hard" it is or isn't, it is still excellent for building better balance. I wasn't going to do it at first, but then I reminded myself that I need to not be such a pussy. It's also good for JR to feel the stirrups jangling around. I do want to keep his sensitivity, but he is known to over react a bit. It's not quite as easy to remove stirrups from a western saddle, so they'll just dangle. I rode my Monday lesson with no stirrups and I rode tonight after my showmanship lesson sans stirrups, too. My core can feel it, and so can my legs and rear. I look forward to seeing how much easier it is at the end of the month!

I do have to cheat, though. KAT has asked me to ride in a clinic on Saturday, and I should probably use stirrups. We're not going for sure, but probably. The clinic organizers called and said they didn't have anyone signed up to ride in the western pleasure/horsemanship portion of the clinic and asked if she could bring some horses/riders. She asked me and two others in the barn. There are so few of us who ride western! I'm looking forward to free advice and a chance to get Junior out and about without the pressures or prep-work of showing. We haven't been off the farm since September 20th so it'll also be good to see if his trailering issues are still absent. He's not bad, but his PO said he was not easy to load. The first time we loaded him to bring him home he was tough to get on and then he did it again to the first show, but KAT schooled him for a minute and he's loaded quietly and calmly ever since. I'm looking forward to Saturday! Plus it's our first outing after stopping the SmartCalm and I am anxious to have proof that he didn't need the SmartCalm!

Showmanship is going very well! He's consistently improving and improving his consistency. We did several 360's tonight with his pivot foot firmly planted, worked on backing straight, timing how to stop with his hip at a marker, and using 4 cones to check 90's 180's 270's and 360's. He has really ceased with the biting and is learning to keep his head down. He's such a social pony that he likes to watch other horses and he got distracted several times but overall he was very good and I'm getting better at making the cues more exact.

Oh, and the halter is ordered, :D and the lead arrived yesterday. Squeee!


  1. Oooh! I'm so jealous! :)

    I'm glad you ordered it, though... from the sounds of it you and Junior are going to kill it in showmanship this year! A fancy new halter is really going to be the icing on the cake.

    I used to ride without stirrups a lot, but then when I really started "training" Lilly, I decided I needed all the support I could get. It is really good for your seat, though!

    Have fun at the clinic!

  2. I'm so excited for you! So much great stuff happening in your life. And that you got a chance to maybe ride in a clinic is awesome too. Yay!