Thursday, July 29, 2010

Schooling Sessions with Rogo and Dan

Tonight I tried to learn a routine for being efficient in doing two rides back to back. I know, I should have this worked out since starting Rogo, but I haven't. Anyone have a good routine? I brought them both into stalls, groomed each one in succession fairly quickly, tacked Rogo and left Dan in his stall. After Rogo's ride I untacked him, gave him a quick brush in sweaty areas and tacked Dan up. Sounds simple but maybe there's a better way?
For Rogo's session I thought about a post on A Work In Progress (side bar). The post is about re-building balance in a horse. I'm building, not re-building, but it made lots of sense. The post stresses the importance of riding every step. Our teachers tell us this, and I read lots of dressage articles and sometimes books, but seeing it in black and white from a blogger who's riding helps it sink in. There's something about the immediacy of it. I have been sloppy in letting Rogo slouch around a little bit at the walk, especially when he starts out. He doesn't need to ramble around. He needs a long rein to start, yes, but he can march, so we did. He has a nice walk, lots of over tracking, but he tends to be a little lazy in it a lot of the time.
My goal was a short but focused ride to work on bending, especially to the left, and taking a good contact. He did both almost right away, after having to work for 1/2 an hour for either when Cheryl was here on Tues. He did it before she was here too. I know people and horses are different when riding in lessons, but we have to get our lessons closer to day to day riding, otherwise we spend our whole lesson getting ready to ride.
The bending and contact went so well I asked for a canter on a left circle and he gave me a really nice canter circle. That's all I asked for. We did a couple of trots up the center line with halting and called it a night.
Then it was Dan's turn. I decided to work in the ring. I had his shoes pulled a week ago because I didn't think I'd ride him until it got cooler, but with my new plan I'll have to call the farrier to put them on again. He was fine after our beach ride, and is still fine, but I know nothing about keeping a horse bare foot except that you don't just start in and do it without a plan. I could try boots though. I think I'll look into it.
My goals with Dan were just a short session to get him working again - mostly basics at walk and trot, with a little canter. For our obstacle I grabbed the first thing I saw - a tarp. He is kind of a scardey-cat so I thought we'd have to work up to it but he gingerly tried walking over the corner of it on my first ask and then quickly moved on to walking over the middle of it while keeping his rhythm. What a good boy.
That was our evening. Quick and easy. This might be doable.

4 comments:

Kate said...

That continuous attention thing is hard to master - at least for me. But if our attention wanders, it's no wonder our horses lose focus since we're not home to provide direction. I often work two horses back-to-back, but I usually have no time constraints. I find getting out all the tack and equipment for both horses at the same time saves steps, and I usually keep my grooming sessions short - spa days are more likely on non-riding days.

Jeni said...

Hi Carol ~ I don't always ride both horses back to back but I do always work the one that is going to take the most time.

I find for me a simple goal for each session and each horse helps keep me focused. If I don't set that goal it's very easy to think about what is coming up instead of what I want to work on. I found when that happens nothing gets accomplished.

I too keep pre-ride grooming simple and drag all my stuff out before I do anything with either horse.

Carol said...

Great advice. Simple grooming, tack in place, focused goals. I'm learning that a short, focused session can be as good or better than working for a longer time and perhaps getting both yourself and horse tired and / or bored.

Shannon said...

Thanks for the shout out! It makes me happy that my rambling helped somebody.

Back when I had more than one horse to ride I carried a little book with me that had a summary of my rides in it. That way, I could take a second before mounting to review what I had been doing with that horse. It helped keep me focused. And, as everyone else said, short grooming sessions and organized tack helps a lot. You could also alternate who gets worked hard and who gets a light day and schedule their days off on different days so that at least two days of the week you only have one horse to ride.

Good luck! It's challenging, but riding more than one horse is so good for your riding.