Cantering in the big wide open

We warmed up in the arena and then Magee on Sammy and I on Georgie rode out of the arena to the pasture. We walked around it entirely, then worked for about 20 minutes independently in the pasture in all gaits. He did very well. He wasn’t herdbound to the Sammy, listened easily and was unmoved by the traffic on the road nearby. He stayed as connected as he had been in warmup in the arena. Wonderful!

Real connection

Today we went around in circles with me focusing on keeping my hands steady and quiet, and sending him forward from my leg. This is something I do every day, but today it is all I did. In walk on a 20 m circle until he came over his back. Then in trot on a 20 m circle until he relaxed into my hand and allowed me to put a leg on without over-reacting.

There was some actually pretty nice work to the right in trot and some moments of nice work to the left, which is his weaker side. Canter work is coming into focus.

Out of the arena

This picture of Georgie has nothing to do with today, I just like it.

This picture of Georgie has nothing to do with today, I just like it.

Short note today. Warmed up in the arena where everything went well. Then Magee on Eddie and I on Georgie rode out in the pasture. We just walked around, which was the intention. Georgie was relaxed, possibly more relaxed than he was in the arena, the entire time, even when Dug, our recently adopted dog, came barking out from under the fence.

When I shouted to her to go back in the yard, he didn’t raise a hair (and, amazingly, she did indeed go back under the fence and into the yard.)

So we continued our walk around the pasture and came in. Good man.

Big catch up

Well, I missed a few blog updates in here, so let me catch you up. Magee (soon to be 16 year old working student) has ridden him at the end of one of the sessions and they both did well.

Sidepass is well understood now and I am in the process of helping him understand and relax into contact. Tonight we did a fair bit of work in leg yield, which I like to use a tool to help them understand inside leg to outside rein connection. He comments that it is much easier to the right, but we managed to have good success to the left as well. It was a very good day and I am happy with his progress. He’s a treat to have around.

Auggie schools a coop

I schooled at Catalpa Corner today with some students and had a great time. When I got home, I decided it was time to jump Auggie over a coop, in case we decide to hunt this year. He did really well. I put the video camera on a tripod and let it roll. Here’s a short clip:

Bridle and bit


Nathe loose ring snaffle. The most expensive piece of flexible plastic I have ever bought, and one of my best investments.

Now that we have forward fully installed, it was time to transfer him over to a bridle. My experience has been that less is more, so I like to use a nathe bit, which is entirely bendable soft rubber, tapered for the horse’s mouth.

A lot of horses like this bit, which makes sense because it is about as mild as you can get. A few horses object to the tongue pressure, which I respect. In that case I switch.


George was in the “like” category with the nathe. I did some in-hand work on sidepassing before I got on and we had a discussion about how to stand politely for mounting, which is coming along. He did very well in all gaits. Very nice first day in the bit and bridle.

Side passing

We had a very nice school today. After some discussion about proper etiquette for mounting, walk, trot and canter were very good. At the end I introduced in-hand sidepassing.

In with the herd

DSCN1895Prince George is adoptable from the ARL Rescue Ranch. He is at Field Day gaining skills to plump up his resume for a new life in his forever home with a new partner. Interested parties can contact me or Judy Hand

The first full day with the herd went well. He has no new scrapes on him and he is eating and drinking well. Ahhhhh, lovely.

Tacked up for a brief ride in the indoor tonight. I am requiring him to stand still for mounting now, which he does, but then he grows roots there. We have to get a happy medium of standing still for mounting and then moving off. It is a minor glitch and seems, more than anything, to be a misunderstanding.

Gettin' in touch with our loopy rein cowboy inner children

Gettin’ in touch with our loopy rein cowboy inner children

I warmed him up in walk, trot and canter and he did really quite well. I am not lunging him before riding any more, just get on and go, like a real educated horse. Very nice. Megan Clements was out, and kindly snapped a few pictures (thanks Megan!), including cantering in a relaxed manner on a loose rein, and his first “jump”. We have a lot of work to do and strength to gain before we are actually jumping objects with height, but it is always good to start the footwork early. A pole on the ground is a great start for footwork.

First jump with me, from a trot.  Woohoo.

First jump with me, from a trot. Woohoo.


Busted looking in the mirror.

Putting on some weight.  The horse, not the girl...

Putting on some weight. The horse, not the girl, (well, not that much)…