I brought her in and groomed her and tacked her up and she was very polite and friendly. I brought her in the arena and got on and she was perfect. Her walk work had some difficulty in keeping the tempo consistent. Her rhythm is fine but her tempo is somewhat erratic. She is a little overreactive to the leg. She needs to allow the rider to rest their leg on her side so that the leg aid can be more subtle.

Canter work was quite exuberant though not impolite. We worked on coming down the quarter line and staying straight. And we also worked a little bit on transitions from trot Canter and from walk to Canter. She did very well.

Then I took her outside for hack. We walked all the way down the hill, And she was mostly relaxed. We turned around and came back up the hill and I started to pick up a trot with an eye toward helping to strengthen her stifles. When I began to trot she was quite footsore on the gravel road. This despite the fact that the gravel road was mostly mud though a bit frozen. So we walked all the way back up the hill which was also good for her stifles. She was not footsore in the sand arena at all. She is quite flat footed. I wonder if a bare foot trimming specialist might help to get her hoof more cupped.

Lukey long and low

He was happy to come in and as I was putting him in the cross ties he walk bolted into a stall and pulled the rope out of my hands. I was stunned. We had a few moments about being polite from the ground. After we had come to an agreement I tacked him up and worked in the arena on coming over his top line and staying focused on me. We had some very nice work in trot and some good right lead canter though he did occasionally get the wrong lead. By the end, We were 100%.

Then I took him out for a walk back on the road requiring him to keep his neck down and his attention on me. We went on the flat road to the east to the first farmhouse and he did fine. Nice day.

Elsa’s big adventure

50° in January fabulous weather. I brought her in and worked in walk where we focused on connection and balance. In trot we worked on maintaining the tempo. She has a bit of a tendency to hurry or overreact to the leg. We worked on canter transitions and that went very well so then we went out on a hack.

On our hack it was much improved over last time. She actually volunteered a bit of a trot away from the barn which was a big difference from the last time I rode her when she planted all 4 feet a few times. We had a merry trot all the way down to the road closed sign. Then we had a bit of a walk and then we trotted back up the hill. Very good day.


Scary tarp

Another 50° day in Iowa in January go global warming! I rode Calvin in the indoor riding arena and did walk work first. He actually came over his topline pretty well from the start but didn’t want to bend to the right when I asked him to switch from left to right slowly across the center of the arena. So we will keep working on that. Trot work was improved especially the first few steps of trot after the transition from walk. Canter work is loosening up a fair amount which is very exciting.

One time when we were in trot he came around the corner and the tarp blew up in the breeze just as we were approaching and he objected quite vividly to that. Wejust worked a few minutes on it and he figured it out. Very good.

As a reward we went out and walked all the way down the hill to the end of road signand had a little bit of trot toward the end and then walked all the way back up the hill. I’ll post a video of that tonight




Lukey back in action

Sunny and 51° outside with a 10-15 mile-per-hour wind. I warmed up in the indoor and of course with the breezes and the doors open that blue tarp was blowing with basically inconsistent frequency. And Luke thought that was scary but he managed to stay on my aids when I rode him just like we talked about yesterday. He did very well. Then we worked in Canter where he gave me some very good work.

As a reward we went for a walk all the way down the hill to the road closed sign which he was convinced was possessed. But after a short period of time we agreed that it was acceptable and he walked right up to it. He was very tight in his neck on the way down but on the way back started to relax. Very good day.


Calvin the evolving Eventer

We started out in the arena especially with walk work trying to get him to come over his top line. He developed it a lot more quickly than last time. Then we did trot work which went well but I’m not real happy with the connection he seems hesitant to stretch down and forward. I would like to see his bit changed to a French link snaffle. This is a dressage legal bit that you will be able to wear it in competition. It is also a little bit kinder in their mouth and he’ll still stop, he’s a good boy. After that we went out and walked in the jumping field and he was perfect so we started to go down the road. As soon as we went past the other horses paddock and they were no longer visible, he thought that maybe he wouldn’t have to go forward. So he threw all four of his legs forward and decided that was enough and I disagreed and sent him forward. We went all the way down to the end of the road and then came back and trotted up the hill and that was huge fun for both of us.


Attention and relaxation

I brought her in and tacked her up and she behaved beautifully. We worked on coming over the top line and walk. We worked on transitions from walk to trot. We did some Cantor work working on flexibility and coming over top line and staying involved from behind. That all went very well and then we went out to the jumping field to walk around to cool out. Then we went for a short hacked on the road which she found fairly alarming but she behaved well and eventually went forward we only went about 200 yards down the road but was a good start. Very good day.



IMG_2428Adding more to the confidence bank by introducing more new things. I think she led a fairly sheltered life before me, so we get to do some acclimation. Today I lunged with side reins, saddle and bridle and then took off the side reins and did some lunge jumping over a small liverpool. At first she thought it was going to eat her, but by the end she was jumping it confidently. So cool.




That is a freaky looking liverpool!

That is a freaky looking liverpool!


And this is my best hairy eyeball look

And this is my best hairy eyeball look

Over the topline

This picture is actually from Saturday's hunt.  (which was so fun and she was so good.  Did I mention that?)  LOL

This picture is actually from Saturday’s hunt. (which was so fun and she was so good. Did I mention that?) LOL

I devoted an entire hour to just suppleness over the topline. Bending and transitions and relaxation. It went really well.

Elsa joins the program

Kelly arrived at the barn just when I was finishing up with Calvin. She lunged Elsa, who was very well behaved and very free in her movement.

We tacked up with her saddle and I got on and rode in all gaits in both directions. The mare has obviously had some very nice training. She stretches to contact and is relatively free of tension. How lovely.

Kelly rode her at the end of the session and it went swimmingly.