Focus Areas

I finally got a good ride in the ring today. The training is coming along well and I'm really happy with Rogo's attitude - he's so up for trying to please. Here are a few shots Doug took while I was practicing:

I need to remember to:
(a) practice trot canter transitions, and
(b) go back to working on trot work after cantering. 
Rogo tends to go all to hell with his responsiveness to bending after he canters. It isn't like he thinks his work is done - he's willing to go forward. If we work on canter for a more than a few minutes though, sometimes the bending and lateral work goes out the window. Why is that?
My final focus for the coming week is:
(c) trotting off from a halt
I'll also practice my tests a couple of times and if I'm lucky get Doug to video them.
I can't resist adding a few dog pictures that I took today:

 Nola takes her jolly ball where ever she goes...

And my sweetie Doug


Oak Creek Ranch said…
Great pictures. I especially like the last one of Doug. He looks so mischievous or something. I love the happy impish grin and sparkle in his eyes.
juliette said…
I love the photos! You and Rogo look great in the ring. He is so adorable, I think.

Also, your puppy photos and Doug picture - wonderful!
TBDancer said…
Loved the pictures--all of them.

Re the canter thing: Do you usually stop your schooling after you canter? It may be that Rogo DOES think you're finished because he "knows the lesson"--we "train" with every ride, and I have difficulties "mixing things up" since I like to follow a routine too.

My OTTB actually works better at the trot AFTER we've done most of our warmup in canter (we start with long and low walking for maybe 15-20 minutes--I ride a mile to the field where we work out--and then do cantering for another 10 minutes or so with spirals, change of direction, shallow weaves, etc.). Then we trot, and his trot is infinitely smoother--he has a slight roach back (the chiropractor says it's "tight," which is a GOOD sign. The other end of the scale is, "His back is a MESS") and the canter work helps him loosen up.

He's also older (17 this year) and is a bit stiff (as is his mother ;o)
Carol said…
Thanks guys. Doug does have a mischievous grin doesn't he? :)
TB Dancer, I also use canter to warm up, as it makes Rogo's trot better too. It's more when I canter towards the end of the ride that things get off ... When we warm up we just go large or do 20 m circles. It's after we do lengthening and shortening and counter canter and smaller circles that he gets kind of squirmy when we go back to walk or trot. Intuitively is seems like he should be MORE supple and on the bit after the more challenging work. So I think you might be right - it is related to him thinking we should be done, or at least he's thinking we should be winding down. I just started to pay attention to it (it was always at the end and I let it go), so maybe I can clear it up quickly if I pay attention. Just writing this is making me think. I bet I've gotten sloppy after the challenging canter work, just as we're going to finish, and he's come to expect that I won't really ask him to be 'on'. Hmmm, interesting.
Sounds like a really nice ride Carol. Glad the weather and conditions in your arena are letting you two train.

Aren't our horses funny - thinking for themselves - cheeky little monkeys ;) We have to be creative about mixing things up for them or they'll take over!

Love the pictures - Doug does have "the twinkle" :)
TeresaA said…
nice shots! Doug always looks mischievous anyway. :)
As for the canter- it could be that he thinks he's done, he also could be tired after that work and so is having trouble keeping himself together. He may also be falling on the forehand- making lateral work more difficult. Think (and do) shoulder fore coming from canter-trot and then do a circle with lots of half halts. He'll figure it out but first make sure that you are in the right position as well.
Hurricanes12 said…
from the photos, rogo looks great, i don't think the canter problems are relating to being on the forehand? the second photos on a different angle but he looks really light in the first one especially!
have you tried walk-canter transitions? my instructor tells me to use these heaps with oscar, they fix almost any canter problem because the horse has to engage it's hindquarters a lot more and it seems to perk them up a lot without them pulling or rushing :)

as for the other photos, pepper is adorable! that face is irrestistably cute haha!
Nice work in the ring. You two look good together.

Love the pictures of your pups, they are adorable. And Doug looks like a lot of fun.
Jan said…
Carol, What a good ride you and Rogo had! You do a lot of thorough analysis about your riding - good for you! It's bound to help you and Rogo continue to make progress (you've made loads!!). I, too, love the pictures - of you and Rogo, your lovely dogs! and Doug! Great photos!
Carol said…
Thanks for all the feedback everyone. Greatly appreciated. I think circles with half halts would be a good way to get him back when he / we start to fall apart. It's good to have a plan ready.
Anonymous said…
I am so happy I stumbled upon this blog. The pictures are lovely and the contents are a very interesting read. Carol, it is nice to ‘meet’ you and I look forward to reading more.
Achieve1dream said…
Those are all great pictures!! I'm glad Rogo is doing so well. :)
Achieve1dream said…
Oh and I forgot to mention I love your blog because you ask the best questions and I learn so much from all of the comments left. :D