Sunday, October 31, 2010

What Are the Non Horse People Doing Today?

I don't mean for that to sound snotty - I'm sure they're doing all kinds of fun things. But I have so much fun with my horses I can't imagine how other people live without them.
Doug and I went to the Ron Postleb clinic at Atlantic Equestrian Center in Beaverbank this morning. I really enjoyed it. He taught each horse and rider combination in a way that was specifically tailored to them (I've seen clinicians teach the same thing all day) and you could see them improving through their lesson. Some things / exercises I want to remember:
  • 10 m trot circles in the corners and shoulder in down the long side
  • trot across the diagonal switching to leg yield after starting across
  • bend to the inside (a lot) to help the horse get round
  • if the horse starts to rush, transition down until he is responding well
  • make sure the horse is correctly bent (slightly) to the inside and engaged before asking for canter
  • half halt with the inside rein on canter circles to get the horse on the bit, but don't nag
After attending the clinic in the morning we went to brunch and then I had a lesson with Cheryl. We worked on longing (getting a good trot, forward, round and tracking up) and then I rode - trot loops (changing bending) and canter - steering for him, correct riding for me. Cheryl is a lot happier with the bending now, but I have to work on getting that last bending change in the loop stronger. Also I need to remember not to post too much - just a relaxed minimal movement. 
We're happy with his canter, but I need to get the up transition sharper. We did canter down the long side, then into a circle and he aced it several times. He's ready for a little more of a challenge I think. 
I remembered to work with half halts today, and was surprised at how quickly he picked it up. It isn't new to him, but it's never been a confirmed thing for him and I gave up in the heat of the summer (he just stalled out). After practicing half halts all around the arena in both directions transitioning from walk to trot and back, I did a half halt in trot to ask for canter and he was cantering before I was ready. I think I may have a clue as to why his up transition to canter isn't as good as it was - when he gets very sharp on it (does it instantly), I fall behind him! Ug. How awful is that? I am determined to go with him - not ahead, not behind - with him. When I do, and ensure that he's engaged first, I think our canter transition problem will be solved.
His energy level today was nice - not at all the over the top energy of two days ago, and he hadn't been turned out today because it was raining. He was happy and forward but calm and sweet. I just don't understand these dramatic shifts in his energy. Savanah and Dan stay pretty much the same, but Rogo's seems to fluctuate a lot. Is it a young horse thing?
Doug and Savanah had a great ride too - all in all a really fun day. Now I'm getting ready for a crazy busy work week (Lunenburg, Digby and Truro and away from home two nights). Gotta pay the horse board and lessons!

8 comments:

Valentino said...

Carol-

I know what you mean about non horse people. Yesterday before I knew it, I'd spent 6 hours at the barn, and could have stayed all day. When I get my house built where the barn is, it will be perfect.. (I'll probably never leave lol)

Sounds like you and Rogo are making great progress. I so enjoy hearing what you're up to!

Jeni said...

The energy level is a young horse thing, I believe. Rosie is the same. Some days she's all laid back and it takes a lot of energy from me to get forward movement. Other days she's rushing everything and all I'm doing is transitions to keep her mind engaged. But more often than not I have a happy medium with her. Days like you had today with Rogo =)

I firmly believe that non-horsey people are desperately looking for the peace we find when we are with our horsey family.

Carol said...

Thanks you guys! I'm glad you can relate to the horse thing. They make me so happy.
Jeni, that's interesting about your experience with Rosie. I think we're on to something! Maybe I think about it too much, but it's such a puzzle.

juliette said...

Sounds like you had a perfect horsey day. I find myself wondering all of the time what non horsey people are doing to find peace. In NYC there were no horses. I kept looking at everyone's face wondering if all the frowns were because they were missing out on horse time. I know I was! It was so great to get back to the boys and have a bareback ride on Sovey. I could breathe again!

TBDancer said...

Yeah, "a day with the horses" that translates into no makeup, hay in the hair, and boots that need to be left outside because the mud and crud are too thick to scrape off before coming in the house.

Heaven!

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