Getting on board

Harley had moments of getting on the clue bus today.  I brought him in and tacked him up and he was very good.  When we started lunging he was very fast on the side of the circle away from the door and then slowed down going past it, where his buddies were.  We discussed keeping the same tempo all the way around and he came to the conclusion that that was probably a good idea.

On the canter work, he had a few moments of naughty, especially to the left as usual.  His work to the right is mostly quite acceptable.  He is coming along!

Harley pitches a fit

Day two of the side reins on the lunge line saga. Rylee and Leah tacked and untacked him for me and I spent 45 minutes allowing him to educate himself regarding the wisdom of throwing his head up against his loosely-adjusted  side reins. At the end he came to the conclusion that he actually could relax his neck and maintain a tempo in all three gaits. 👍

Harley learns about limits

IMG_5117So, I got to thinking about Harley and his diving at the bit and it occurred to me that loosely adjusted side reins during lunging might be a good education for him.  So I put my dressage saddle on him and loosely adjusted my side reins so that when he was standing still and relaxed, they only had slight resistance on them.  Since a horse’s frame naturally shortens when he moves, this would mean that they would be a little loose when he moved, but not so loose as to allow him to throw his head up or down or to the side without some repercussions (of his own making.)

So I sent him at a walk and he was fine.

When we trotted, he had a real moment went he threw his head down and to the right.  He surprised himself and reacted up and then almost sat down on his hocks.  I coaxed him forward and it didn’t take him long to figure out proper behavior in trot.

Then on to canter in which he created quite a little battle for himself.

I gave him a rest, went to the right and then a rest and came back to the left:

That was a big lesson for the day so I didn’t even ride him. I’d like to see him have the weekend off. I encourage you to go visit him and groom him and feed him treats, but let’s let him sit with that success for the weekend.  It was a lot to process for him.

Some more progress

Very muddy in the paddock.  Groomed him and tacked up.  He was pretty light on his feet on the lunge.  The horses are happy to get in some good footing and cavort about when it is so muddy outside, so I wasn’t too surprised.

I got on and he stood well.  We warmed up with a lot of flexion in walk and trot.  He floated away like a hot air balloon at one point, in to canter, so I let him do it, but then we went back to trot.  We are working on the connection for now and the canter will come.

Harley aces it

Today was an interesting day.  I brought him in and tacked him up.  I put him on the lunge and he was a bucking machine.  This is not uncommon when horses are in paddocks where they don’t want to run, and that is what is happening with the mud we are experiencing now.

At any rate, he got his bucks out and then was quite well behaved on the lunge after that.  I got on and had the best session yet.  He started out with some moments of resistance and tension, but ended up stretching long and low in walk and trot. Excellent work.