I've found the most amazing art work, which you can see on the following blog:
Here's just one example, where the artist incorporated horses she's owned or ridden, to whet your appetite for viewing:
Her art work is so interesting from both a cultural/heritage perspective and from an aesthetic perspective. As a rider she incorporates horses into much of her work. I contacted her to get permission to post the picture and link.
I rode Rogo just before dark yesterday. He was great - all the energy he lacked the day before was bottled up waiting for the next ride I think! He was forward, forward, forward. It makes soooo much difference. It is so much easier to get bend, a better head position, figures, etc. We started with longing. This always makes for a more energetic ride. I don't know why, but I can't seem to energize him from the saddle like I can when we start on the longe.
We practiced some walk trot tests and I concentrated on keeping my outside rein steady and solid, especially on the left where he needs the support for bend. We also practiced keeping a good marching pace at a free walk and staying straight on center line halts (this needs more work). He is transitioning back to walk from trot much more quickly now, even when he's forward, so I have to calculate this when planning where to give aids for test transitions. He's been pretty good for a while on walk to trot. I'm very pleased with how he did the tests. He was energetic and did the most correct bending and transitions that's he's done. The piece that needs improving is my riding of the tests. I'm still at a stage where I'm giving quite strong aids for some movements, like a left circle, in order to get a correct response. For example as the circle is nearing completion he tends to straighten or counter bend, even if we are continuing to circle. I give a tap with my whip on the inside, or a quick little kick, and he immediately goes back to a correct bend. I need to get it to where this isn't necessary. We have a few spots like that.
Now my goal is to ride the tests quietly. I got Doug to video tape us and I'm going to study it and tape it repeatedly for a few days, trying to get better riding and responses each time. I was kind of shocked to see my hands so far apart and high at times.
We did a left canter early in our ride and a right canter near the end. He didn't pick either up nicely (I had to push him, a quiet ask didn't work), but he carried it and steered (straight to circles) in both very well, doing a nice forward canter. How can I get back to the nice transitions, now that he is keeping his canter better? This seems so odd to me. It must be something I'm doing, but I can't figure out what I'm doing differently.
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