Tag goes on a walk

Beautiful day out so I tacked him up and headed down the road.  He was not about going down the hill and gave me several unrequested  quick left pirouettes when he had decided he had gone far enough.  After the third one, I got off and smacked him on the butt with the whip.  That was a bad call, as he reared up and pulled the reins out of my hands and trotted merrily back to the barn.

I walked back and caught him without difficulty and we proceeded to walk in hand all the way down to the end of the road.  He was all over the place and acting like he was scared of everything.  For a while I thought he really was scared, but then as he started to come around, I realized that he just is really not broke.  He wants to move when you want him to be still and he wants to be still when you want him to move.  Really it is just a matter of who gets to decide, and he thinks it is him.  It took a while, but he finally stood still each time we stopped and walked forward politely both toward and away from the barn.  I don’t think he’s terribly comfortable out in the big world, but I also think it can be overcome with consistent work. By the end, we were walking and halting and turning toward and away from the barn with him being relaxed and polite.

Hack out in the sunshine

It has been a dreary week, so 42 degrees and sunshine felt like a good day for a hack.  We walked down the hill to the end of the road and then trotted and cantered back up.  She is not lame in this video.  I am posting.:

 

Sunshine over the cemetery is good reason to have ears up!

Sunshine over the cemetery is good reason to have ears up!

Then we had a walk break and continued on our merry way to Dalandar cemetery.  On the way, we worked on lengthening and shortening her walk and trot through the seat aids to good effect.  Doing the same in canter had some success, but she mentioned that she felt pretty good and spring was in the air, so coming back was a bit less effective than one might hope, but she did eventually come back.

We had a nice hack home in all gaits and walked the last quarter mile to cool down.  Then I untacked her and let her roll in the arena, which she was all about.

IMG_5741

On the trip home

Right where we left off

I brought him in and let him play for a bit in the indoor since they are not moving around a lot in the somewhat muddy paddocks.  He had a little play and a  couple of bucks.  I groomed him and tacked him up and we had a discussion about him standing still in the cross ties and keeping his neck down, which he agreed to.

Then I lunged him briefly where he was perfect.  I got in the tack and we worked on going forward and over his topline in walk, trot and canter, with some very good moments.  Excellent work.

Hilly hack

Only 34 degrees and overcast, but good footing on the gravel, so I tacked her up and rode her at a walk down the hill to the end of the road.  She took a few funny steps on the gravel, so I moved her over to the softer side and she was fine.  We trotted all the way back up the hill, then had a walk to the corner to catch her breath.  She felt really quite well in trot up the hill!  Happy to go.

Too breezy to continue up on the flat, so we turned around and walked back down the steep part of the hill, then had some very nice canter work on the less steep part of the hill.  Then another trot back up the hill, working on coming forward and going back in trot from my seat and she did very well!

Archie going forward

Had a good session with Archie with Megan and Rylee there to watch.  He was very tight at first, so I got off and lunged him and he came out of it quite nicely.  I got back on and he had some good work.  We addressed mostly him going really forward in trot, with some good success.

We had a little introduction to halt-walk transitions without raising or tightening his neck, which went really quite well.

Elsa goes on a hack (and tunes into the seat!)

IMG_5713Nice day, so obviously, time for a hack!  We took a nice long walk down the hill, partially because I wanted her to have a nice slow warmup since she hasn’t been out for a hack (to my knowledge) in a while, and because I wondered about the footing on the often-shady hill down to the river.  The footing turned out to be great, so we trotted back up the hill.  Then we had a walk past the barn on our way to the cemetery, and on to some more trot work, working on her responding to seat aids, and it worked surprisingly well, which was really wonderful.

IMG_5717On we went to the cemetery, which we both find really peaceful.  We tarried there a bit because it was quite beautiful.

Then a walk and trot down the road back to the main road.  A crew was working on that old house on the corner.  They had all sorts of stuff going – jackhammers, nail guns, you name it.  She had a little bit of a reaction to the surprise of the nail gun, but after a bit, dealt with it just fine.

5:15 p.m. and still light. Spring is coming!

5:15 p.m. and still light. Spring is coming!

On the main road we had a quarter mile or so of about a  450 mpm hand gallop, which she enjoyed immensely, and I may have been grinning as well.  Then a trot on the east/west road that goes back to the barn, where she suggested I take this picture.

We had a nice walk the last quarter mile back, and then I untacked her and let her have a good roll in the sand.  She proceeded to run about and buck a bit after rolling too.  Crazy kid.  Good girl.

Some looseness

IMG_5406

I tried to take a picture of Elsa rolling tonight, but my camera had gone into hibernation when it got cold. So here is a picture of Tag rolling. Hers looked a lot like this. LOL

Started out in walk work tonight and she was fairly loose right away, which is really lovely.  On to trot, where the trend did not continue spontaneously.  We did a lot of suppling with leg yield to get her to go to the outside rein without leaning on it.  That seemed to help  her a fair amount because we had some very nice canter work.  She is definitely on the right track.

After the ride, I took her tack off and let her roll in the arena, which she did and then she had a brief gallop as well, which she apparently enjoyed immensely!

Forward and loose

IMG_5436Had a very nice school with Tag tonight. He started out a bit behind the leg, but quickly came forward and started to loosen across his topline in short order. Some very good canter work late and some quite acceptable trot work. He had a nice roll in the arena when he was done.

IMG_5437

Ears forward

I had a training ride on Archie. He was a little behind the leg and slightly (very slightly) snarking. We had a discussion about forward and he came nicely around to agreeing that forward with ears up was a very good idea. A few walk to canter transitions which were quite good.

Then Megan rode him and they had some beautiful, flowing walk.  Lovely thing to see!

Good man.