Friday, January 23, 2009

Yay, another good day!

Well, 2 in a row! After I finished the barn today, I went to get the booger out of the pasture. He tried to run off, so I had to chase after him a little before he decided the peppermint was worth being caught.:) Grabbed him and took him in to groom. I hate it that he still looks skinny. He's getting plenty of food, all the hay he can possibly eat, alfalfa cubes, and oil. I've tried him on beet pulp before, and he wouldn't eat it. Vet said he could use around 100 more lbs.

I've decided to try a new piece of equipment on him; a flash noseband. I've checked the fit of his bit, and it fits perfectly; no teeth banging or anything going on. I think it's just one of those habits he picked up and was never corrected on. Anyway, seems like a decent tool. Helped keep his mouth closed. Not sure it changed the workings of the bit at all, but it seemed to keep the head shaking to a minimum. Longed him again today, and was dead quiet. Picture this. A longe whip, longe line, aluminum step ladder, and my horse. A pasture with 3 mares, and another pasture where we can finally ride. Makes for an interesting walk to our "area".

Today was the first time I've ever warmed up fully in 2-point. Walked all the way around the pasture, then picked up a trot, and trotted a few big circles. He didn't get fast, woo hoo! Moved to the posting trot, and continued from yesterday, working lots of inside leg/outside rein. Lots of big circles, some halt transitions, and worked the canter transition. I didn't spend a lot of time actually cantering; just the transitions. Actually, they're pretty good. At the walk, he wants to trot into it, but from the trot, he's pretty good.

Very consistent trot today; it was fabulous. He is just SO good when ridden back to back days. I feel like we've done a little bit of backsliding since being at the new farm due to weather, and the real lack of a flat surface to ride on. We were cantering poles at the old barn, and right now, I'm just celebrating a canter without bucking. It's to be expected I guess, two steps forward and one step back. But he was great today, and I'm hoping to trail ride with the ladies tomorrow!:)


  1. Hey Jen, you've more experiance with this english stuff then I do (okay a lot). I was wondering, what does the standing martingale do for you, and do you prefer it over a running one? I'd only used a running one before with my western horses, but noticed my trainers' horses, should they wear one, always have the standing. Would that be better? I use it to give me a little leverage as Be likes to stick her head up like a giraffe and try to gallop off instead of tuck and canter. And sometimes she tosses her head but it's getting less frequent. I do have a standing martingale as well, but don't feel safe without something. I forgot the martingale beginning a ride last week and when she tried to protest something my teeth were in danger so I went and got it.

  2. Hey! The ONLY purpose the standing is supposed to do for you is to PREVENT the head from coming too high. It does NOT physically pull on the head, but it keeps you from getting a head in your face! There is a whole camp of people that believe standings interfere with a horse's range of motion while jumping, but thousands of 100K+ hunters jump 3'6+ in their standings, so I don't put much stock in that. Hunter trainers don't use runnings much because they are considered "untraditional" in the show ring. They are the ONLY martingales allowed in grand prix showjumping because they absolutely do NOT interfere with a horse's jump, and race horses use them because you're putting pressure directly on the bit to influence head position.

    I've used the standing on Tiki up until today as a "just in case" thing, if he got stupid. I used a running today because I switched out his noseband, and definitely felt the pressure on my reins when he tossed his head a little. The jury's still out on how I like the running; I'll have to ride in it a few weeks and see what I think. I've always done the hunters, and they just don't do runnings! I think Tiki and I have some baby jumper classes in our future, though, so that's why I'm trying out the running.

    Sorry! Long winded answer to your question.