Thursday, April 30, 2009
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
This is something I would use in later work, with my horse that can walk/trot/canter on circles and straight lines. I think it's a great tool to be able to ride the horse into the outside rein with the seat but keep him bending around the inside leg with the upper body. However, when I've ridden it I've felt that it is a momentary aid whereas the seat and upper body turning in unison is a staple initial *layer*.
When turning in synchronisation I use my outside knee and thigh to keep the outside shoulder turning and I find that if I approach the turns in a *square* manner then the 1/4's are placed correctly and it is tricky for them to evade/drift out. My shoulders turning ever so slightly onto the same arc the horse is on will bring my outside rein slightly closer to the wither and will back up my outide leg feeling of guarding the outside shoulder.
In all of this turning work I can't stress enough the importance of keeping both legs long and around the horse. Any unbalance in the rider during this early turning will be disastrous for the turn/circle and for this reason I always use my *breathing* legs deeply into my stirrups (like a half halt really) before applying the turning aids.
Of course the reality of all this is that our seats are in a constant state of flux in order to be with the movement of the horse, this goes without saying. Also that the riders body will only turn as much as the circle requires, any over turning by the rider would only be used as a small corrective movement.
Monday, April 27, 2009
I had a couple of really good sessions with Moralejo last week, he's really beginning to understand the leg control and it's giving me a nice feeling in my hand. I've worked lots on direction changes. Basically if his balance goes or he leans on the bit then I immediately change the rein and re-balance before changing back. Along with more work on transitions to help the balance it is all slowly coming together. A bit more canter too and more balanced, even started walk to canter which was better for him in terms of him not loosing his balance. His back is getting stronger and more supple and I hope we get to work on it more this week, weather permitting!
I have also worked on myself a couple of times, quitting the stirrups and reins to *find* my position in a more relaxed frame. I'm an utter dunce with the video though, once I took it out, set it up and didn't switch it on properly doh, then next time I turned it on but didn't realise that I only had 5 mins space left on the disc!!
I'm still thinking on the Aids stuff, I'm disappointed nobody asked which way my dolly peg turned but I suppose I'll just have to tell you, lol.
I'm re-reading Seunig for the umpteenth time, it truly is the one book I would keep if forced to sell all but one.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
School hols at the moment so I've not had by brain on turning but today Lydia took part in a *stage* at the riding club. Dressage lesson first followed by brioche and grenadine and that was worked off with a spot of *voltige*.
Practice whilst stationary and then on to the lunge. She LOVED it.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Oh yes Di, I ought to get one of EH's books. Put it on the list. I found some bits in Seunig too. I hope to find some time later to make a start, omg it's vast.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Hey friends are so perceptive...Di and Claire, good job I sat on the sofa and drank the wine, lol. Yes, aids it will be; on to turning tonight. I think I was just peeved last night because I had fallen hard onto a pile of rocks in the yard, arms full of hay and completely forgot they were there. I was too sore too want to play pones and I was probably feeling sorry for myself. I'm fine today and off to play with wet ponies now. Here's a quick clip of Lydia in her lesson this morning 'en position équilibre' or as we would say 'jumping position'.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Let's start at the very beginning, it's a very good place to....la la
Took Moo down to the school this morning and we both glanced over to the cheeky pone and Fugs (les voisins) who were contentedly munching, no problems there then. Started with some work in-hand and he was really *with me*, nice halts, reinback, shoulder-in and giravolta. Again used the reinback before asking for the leg yield across the school and he is finally stretching that left hind forwards and across. Finished the in-hand with some trot and he can now trot for 6-7 slow strides before breaking back to walk but most heartening is that he actually understands what I want in the upwards transition.
Got on board and he was calm, little tense when we were at the voisins end but nothing awful. At this point the voisins trotted over to say hi, still Moo remained calm. We worked, they watched. Shoulder-in, leg yield, release on a long rein. Lots of halt transitions (some with the hand raised to bring the bit into the corner of the lips because he was leaning or grabbing) and some reinback.
By the time we got into the trot work the cheeky pone (CP) was bored and had sauntered off but Fugs loitered, half hidden behind the hedge. Still Moo just got on with it. Got some nice stretchy trot after some rather manic moments of rushed trot where I think (were he better balanced) I would have preferred to canter. Just leg yielding across the school and CP galloped down the field to hide with Fugs behind the hedge. Still Moo is sane, OK a bit distracted but not awful, I suppose he had 25% concentration on them but the rest on me.
CP is bored again and as we trot round the corner he turns on his heels and pees off up the field, followed closely (never guess he had a poorly tendon) by Fugs. Still being a good boy I decided it was time to finish so after a stretch I got off to finish with some Spanish walk work in-hand (not done it for ages). Today was the first time that he really had any real *lift* through his shoulders, I think this is because we have been keeping his shoulders mobile with lots of leg raising exercises. Linked the jambette with one stride of walk ; stride/jambette/stride/jambette and he just clicked (literally!!) with it and was duly rewarded. I'm afraid I couldn't resist getting back on to try it mounted and YAY he repeated it with me on board.
Took him back up to the yard and got out the fly spray and masks. Now Moo hates sprays so I always spray my hand and wipe it on him, he doesn't really like it and wriggles around and generally gets very agitated but it's bearable. This morning he wasn't bothered one bit so I ventured nearer with the spray bottle, no reaction, sprayed, no reaction, sprayed lots more (all the delicate bits!!) and still he just stood there.
I really hope this calmness is here to stay but maybe, whoever pinched me pone last night will be putting him back tonight. The joy of horses.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Tomorrow I may try and get back to aids. Anyone not on EE there's a lovely write up on the recent Gerd Heuschman clinic to be found in the *Classical* section. It totally affirms my belief that you can keep horses in better shape and able to live longer, more useful lives with correct gymnastic training.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
He was still a bit too *onwards* but we went forward to trot, argghh.....awful. More head play, avoiding stepping in and up with the left hind and too heavy in my hand. Now he wasn't curling back but his neck was tight so I decided to stay in trot and bend his neck, slow deliberate bend, keeping the contact there (sometimes 2 strides sometimes as much as 30) until he took the bend in the neck and could talk back to my hand. Then we would stretch down and out and continue on a large circle until he tensed his neck again, when we would change rein and ask for the opposite bend and then release. With a rest in the middle we did this exercise for 15/20 minutes, at this point he was flexible and free over his back and neck. Really nice to sit on!! At this point I treated him and as his head came round for the treat he had the thickest lippy I've ever seen on him. We called it a day (very happy of course) and walked up the lane to the woods and back to cool off....it's been lovely here today.
So a good day but I sometimes wonder if there is any benefit in him not working on a Sunday??
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
This afternoon I squeezed in a tootle round our fields, trotting up some and cantering some and Moo had great fun.
Before we turned them out for the night (first time we've switched this year) Lydia played games and lunged Cacahuète whilst I took piccies.
So Cacahuète, go touch the ball!!
Her lunging skills are enviable for an 8 yo
And then the inevitable!!
Friday, April 3, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Today dawned bright again and for the third day in a row I was in the school to play. I'm posting some short (never tell an 8 yo to keep the filming brief, lol) videos of today's work as a comparison to earlier videos, drawing a line in the sand so to speak. I'm pleased to see the lack of curl back, this is a big thing for Moralejo and although he is inconsistent into my hand, especially through transitions, this is definitely better than before. We need to work more on keeping the softness over his back, not blocking the energy when he chucks his head about and I hope this is going to improve as he gets stronger.
We are starting to build strength with the rein back to trot as you will see here and then a very short clip of the wall of death canter, it actually doesn't look so out of control as it feels on board. Going forward we will work on the transitions, the rein back to trot and, of course, the canter. I will be working on getting my short ass legs around that barrel of a horse and trying to loosen my right hip (not easy on a fatso) as my right leg has a life of it's own,lol.