Thursday, August 30, 2012

Riding my boy

Honorary little sis put a LOVELY new bling browband on his bridle:) (that we're borrowing from said little sis!)

I've been a little bit lax riding the muffin head this week.  Today was the first day I hopped on.  The farrier was here for the 2nd go round of horses to work on, and I managed to avoid having to hold any horses, woo hoo!  It was hard to get Tiki OUT of the barn because the farrier sets up right in the entry/exit way, so I put on the dressage tack and went out into the front pasture where I usually do trot sets.  There are 2 "front pastures".  The one that's really flat has a bunch of mares out on it right now, and that's normally where I do my flat/dressage schools.  The other one is much more undulating and has longer grass, so I wasn't sure how it would go.

Susan, the dressage trainer across the street was telling me about how eventer Simon Eades asks a horse to "come round" and get on the bit.  His technique is to keep the hands up, close, and absolutely still.  You then resist with the hands and use the leg to ride the horse UP into the contact.  Okey dokey.  I let Tiki walk in the pasture for a solid 8 minutes, then picked up the contact.  I resisted ... closed my leg ... and he violently kicked out his RH.  Nice.  We went back and forth like that for a good minute or so, and then he finally walked forward.  I couldn't get a really good read on how well that worked for him because he was fresh, there were 3 horses turned out in the pasture we were working in, AND he is normally pretty fresh in that pasture anyway!

I trotted until I felt like he was pretty light.  His poll was definitely up, and he was flexed, but he did feel really tight through the neck, not so much through the back.  I asked for w/t/w/t/w/t transitions, and worked on leg yielding at the sitting trot.  I did shoulder-in left, shoulder-in right, rinse and repeat a bunch of times on a long, straight line.  I worked hard to have moments of straightness in between the shoulder-ins, and he was surprisingly good!  It was super hard to keep him consistent because of all the up/down hill track, but it felt really good.

The canter was nice; STRONG, but nice.  My butt was super glued to the saddle, and I had to keep a ton of leg on to maintain the canter on the downhills.  BIG half halts to keep him in control, and I used my lower back and thighs to keep his stride smallish;)

Finsished up with trot/halt/trot/halt/etc.  Backed him a few steps up a downhill with his neck soft and flexed and he was GOOD, so let him be finished.

Not sure what tomorrow will bring.  Y'all will find out this weekend, I guess!:)

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