Letting go

I brought her in groomed and tacked her.  She had moderate snow balls in her front feet.  For horses who are shod in winter, I recommend drilltek for traction and snow poppers to keep the snow from building up.  She stood beautifully for tacking up.  Such a sweet girl.

I had the balancing rein on again today to help her learn a way to relax her poll and not brace.  In walk and trot we had very good success with occasional correction.  Canter is still a brace festival, but by the end she was able to relax for a few more strides in canter than when she started.  Actually very good progress.

Forward and whip acclimation

Tag is proud of himself at the end of the ride

Tag is proud of himself at the end of the ride

I brought him in and groomed him and he stood quite well with only one exception where I reminded him that my space is to be respected – his hip is not allowed to barge into me.  He figured it out.  He had some small snowballs in his front feet.  With horses shod in winter, I recommend drilltek (a gripping aid) and snow poppers (that keep the snow from building up).

I got on and worked on getting him to let go in his poll, especially when counter bending to the right (so when going left).  At one point I switched the whip to the other side and then tapped him with it and he galloped off in fear.  It was pretty surprising, but didn’t feel like malice, so we did some whip acclimation, slowly and repeatedly switching it back and forth from side to side as we worked on stretching over the topline.  We got some  good “high chuffing” (the noise they make when they are loosening up) in both trot and canter.  Very nice.

IMG_5406At the walk warm down, I probably switched the whip side to side 50 times.  By the end he was largely ignoring the motion.  Excellent.

Then untack and a roll in the indoor.

Forward and whip acclimation

I brought him in and groomed him and he stood quite well with only one exception where I reminded him that my space is to be respected – his hip is not allowed to barge into me.  He figured it out.  He had some small snowballs in his front feet.  With horses shod in winter, I recommend drilltek (a gripping aid) and snow poppers (that keep the snow from building up).

I got on and worked on getting him to let go in his poll, especially when counter bending to the right (so when going left).  At one point I switched the whip to the other side and then tapped him with it and he galloped off in fear.  It was pretty surprising, but didn’t feel like malice, so we did some whip acclimation, slowly and repeatedly switching it back and forth from side to side as we worked on stretching over the topline.  We got some  good “high chuffing” (the noise they make when they are loosening up) in both trot and canter.  Very nice.

At the walk warm down, I probably switched the whip side to side 50 times.  By the end he was largely ignoring the motion.  Excellent.

Beep Beep! It’s the Clue Bus

I brought Harley in and he seemed happy to see me, which was pretty fun.  I groomed him and tacked up and went into the arena.  He had a few squealing fits at the very start, but we discussed and they stopped.  Then on to some work in all gaits which started out a little exuberant, but ended up like this (which is good):

In the  second video he is still quite mannerly, but you can see that he wants to carry his hip to the inside when traveling to the left.  I do agree with Dr. Woodford about perhaps having his stifle looked at:

Transitions

I noticed her bridle hanging on a stall front today.  I guess it wasn’t really missing yesterday.  I am sure I put it there and forgot it.  It is no worse for the wear and not even dusty.   Yay.

I brought her in and tacked her up and she was her usual darling self.  I put the balancing reins on her again and they are helpful to her I think.  She was tight at first, but by the end was showing some good relaxation in all gaits.  On the right track.

Forward in relaxation

I brought him in and tacked him up and got on.  Yesterday’s frolicking in the indoor and lunging session was clearly helpful because he settled down to work today.  I did a lot of trotting and flexing and asking him to come loose in his poll, neck and back.  By the end he was pretty loose even in canter.  This is really good!

Some good work and a squeal

I brought him in and tacked him up and he was good.  When I attached the lunge line he did his squeal/rear thing and I nipped it in the bud.  He got down to business pretty quickly on the lunge line with only a few moments of naughty.  At the end of the session he explored a new option – going slowly and relaxing.  He even did this before he got all the way to completely lathered up.  Our boy may be growing up!

Tight back

So I brought him in and took his blanket off and then let him burn off some energy in the indoor.  He was more than happy to buck and cavort about for about 10 minutes.  After that he allowed me to catch him quite nicely.  I put him in the cross ties and tacked him up with a balancing rein and took him out to lunge.

He was quite the monkey at first, but quickly he settled into a nice walk rhythm and on to some nice trot work.  In the time that I was watching him cavort and buck about and in the time I was watching him in walk and trot on the lunge, it became apparent to me that he is very tight in his back.  He needs to get stronger through his topline to help him carry himself even better.  He is such an extravagant mover that he looks impressive, but when I really look at him, I see that he is really just flinging his legs rather than coming over his topline and using his core.

So on the lunge, I let the balancing rein encourage him to come down and forward with his neck, which he showed some nice effort and result at in all three gaits.  Work like this will really help him develop.

Liking it

I brought her in and let her cavort about in the indoor for a while, after removing her blanket.  The footing is so hard and uneven that they don’t want to move outside, let alone burn off any energy.  She had a good ol’ time in the indoor, with some impressive trotting, buoyant cantering and even some good bucks.  Then I caught her easily and brought her in and tacked her up.

Until I came to her bridle which was not hanging on her hook.  I hope you took it home or put it somewhere else!  I put her in my Micklem bridle that I am loaning to Rylee.  It has a french link on it.  I also rode with a balancing rein today too, which is an additional rein that goes from the girth just below the saddle flap, around the elbow, to the bit and then to the rider’s hand.  I like this set up because it can be very gentle and it does not pull their head down, per se.  I rode her in it when we went on our hack and it worked well for her.

We did a lot of walk and trot work, focusing on her relaxing in her poll and keeping a steady rhythm.  She was pretty tight, but got better and better.  Then on to canter, which started tight, but improved quite a lot by the end.  At the end of the entire ride, she was walking at a nice pace, with her neck relaxed and coming forward out of her shoulder rather than up and tight.  Very good!

Silliness and some good work

I brought him in and took his blanket off and let him blow off some steam in the indoor.  And steam he did.  Lots of bucking and carrying on.  My horses at home are doing this too, so I’m not too worried.  The footing outside is so nasty that they don’t want to move, let alone run about enough to burn off some energy.  Once they get in the indoor on good footing, they let loose!

Then I caught him easily and brought him in for grooming and tacking, which went fine.  Lunging was actually fairly good today.  We had a few moments of inversion or quickness, but much improved in general, I would say.