Friday, December 3, 2010

Up and Downs

So I wasn't able to ride Yankee Monday, but Tuesday I free lunged him first, as usual, and then did a quick half hour school. Not only was he good, he felt brilliant! He was working super well through the contact, inside leg to outside rein and pushing with his hindquarters and over his back. I was really pleased with with his performance and every time I had to make a small correction or half halt, he gave me exactly what I wanted, submission and contact.

Wednesday it was FREEZING but that didnt stop me from going to ride at lunch. I decided to give Yanks a break from indoor work and took him for a hack down the road. He looked ADORABLE in his little half sheet and I could tell he appreciated the windblock. I probably looked retarded with my head scarf and two jackets. However it was bright and sunny and the road we hack on was perfect. the road isn't paved but has small rocks instead which is really nice for conditioning in winter since Yankee rarely slips even with snow. There are plenty of hills too which I htink are AMAZING for conditioning. Usually I ask him to trot and canter up hills and trot briskly on the straightaways. Again, he was fantastic...I couldnt have been happier with how attentive he was and how well he was working with his body and respoding to my aids.

I gave him thursday off since I worked an 8 hr shift right after school, but today the farrier came at 9 so I went to the barn early to squeeze a little school in before he got there. Today was another story...he...was....AWFUL. I wanted to cry. I feel like this continues to happen over and over again with us and his training and it is the most frustrating thing. he was SOOOO resistant to contact, notlistening to my leg, lagging behind, counterbent, head tossing, etc. GOD. The only thing I could think of that was different was that I didnt free lunge him I think I will continue to do so everytime.

Anyways, Brandon is coming out with me tomorrow at noon to take pictures. I plan to school Yanks over jumps one last time before it gets too cold to jump. wish me luck...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Light Work

Since Yanks had 6 days off for Thanksgiving, I decided to lunge him only today. I brought home the circingle from my mom's (where the rest of my vast tack collection resides) [as well as a few turnout blankets (to accomodate my poor horsey from the wicked missouri wind)], so I used that with some side reins in the indoor. I've found he works better off the lunge line and since he is voice trained we never have any issues in speed.

I turned him loose in the arena and WTC both directions on loose rein before I really started what I wanted to with him today. He has a tendency to become hollow in the back during work and I thought today would be the perfect time to do LOTS and LOTS of transitions which I learned from Cheryl at New Springs Farm that that helps weak or young (or both) horses use their back more while still staying balanced in their body.

I started him off his easy way, to the left with some basic W/T transitions. Immediately he came down in the bridle and rounded his back so I did the same with T/C. He was listening really well after a few times of this and I thought I would try W/C and T/C/W to W/C/W or W/T/C/T and so on and so forth. Basically making the transitions rapid. Not only did he carry his back better, but his legs were really swinging forward with energy and he was quite relaxed.

I probably should have started off with his harder side but when I do that he never relaxes enough to get nay good schooling in. However, after 10 min of work to the left my fat boy was tired and felt like not putting so much effort the other direction. Quite lazy but he still listened.

Next time I will start off on the other side for sure.