Thursday, December 4, 2014

Better efforts, better rides

Achieve1dream asked a question of my last post, since I love comments and don't want to discourage them, let me answer!

Weird! Has she ever cantered nicely bareback? Or has it always been hard? How did you use draw reins bareback anyway?? So confused lol. I hope your next ride goes better!! 

We have only cantered bareback once before and it was not nearly as hard as she made it this time.  I think it was a combination of weather, attitude and not having the saddle so I could fix the problem right then.  How did I use draw reins?  I was partially cheating, I was riding in my comfy bareback pad.

Borrowed pic, not my pad or horse.
I had bought it when it was advertised as a Thinline bareback pad and it turned out to not be but it IS still extremely comfy so I kept it.  I clipped the ends of the reins to the buckles on the girth and went with it.

Anyway, I rode Mia again on Friday with a saddle and she was MUCH better.  She started out fighting at the canter but I went back to the positive reinforcement training we did when I was breaking her out, as soon as she did what I wanted I would make a noise and give her a treat.  This gal is SO food motivated, it took only 4 times before she was cantering with her head below her chest.  HA!  Silly horse.  Definitely shows it wasn't a pain or training issue, dang baby horses.  The ride went fabulously so I kept it really short.  We did some shoulder in, haunches in, some baby half passes, lots of transitions and then called it a night.

On Sunday RB4 came out and I jumped Mia on a small grid and man that girl can jump.  I had 3 trot poles to a 2' placement jump and started by making the oxer wide.  We got the oxer to 2'6" high and almost 5' wide before we narrowed it and raised it up.  When we went to 2'6" to 2'9" I couldn't even tell there was a height change!  She is drifting to the right a lot, I am not sure if it is my leg (or lack there of) or her though.  I rode with a crop for most of the ride and only had to smack her a couple of times the entire ride to get more impulsion, one smack at a time is all she needs to wake up and go!  When we put it up to a 3' oxer I swear she was jumping a 2' jump, it felt SO easy and relaxed without any of the knocking down issues we were having this summer.  Mia only knocked the fence down a single time when she drifted to the right so far that she knocked the standard down with her front hoof, from there on I carried the whip in my right hand and used more leg and kept her semi-straight.  Go Mia!

Tuesday I rode the App for the first time in a while, he is just SO damn good when he wants to be.  I was showing K some of the training he actually has, she has heard me talk about some of the stuff we used to do and while I don't think she doubted me, I think she just couldn't imagine him actually doing anything fancy since he is such an out of shape old man.  BUT we were able to do full half passes, travers, renvers, 5 meter circles in the trot, half passes in the canter and he was even able to really sit down and do an almost 5 meter circle at the canter!  Awww Appy <3  We did 3 stride tempi changes, walk/canter/walk transitions and even halt/canter/walk transitions.  I really opened him up in the canter when K asked if he always cantered that slow (uhhhh, NO!) and was able to bring him back without too much of a fight.  It was obvious that App doesn't have the muscle anymore and I didn't make him do any one movement for more than a 30 seconds at a time.  It was so nice to ride him :D  K offered to ride him for extra exercise and I am gladly taking her up on it, maybe I can get his muscling back up and he will look like a young teenager again.  He certainly doesn't look like a 21 year old horse but he is certainly showing his age with his lack of muscling.

Finally, I have an update.  A fairly cool update.  Actually 2 of them!  First, I scheduled my first dressage lesson since last winter!  I am using someone else, not H, and she is 35% more expensive than H (YOWSERS!) but I rode with her in a clinic that I had brought Mia to in the spring and we had a really good ride so I am hoping I will get some serious progress.  This lady, M, is a dressage trainer that has a bunch of USDF certifications, I am hoping she can get my equitation fixed once and for all and Mia and I can move forward with a plan because I am currently stuck in a dressage rut.  My lesson is Saturday, wish me luck!  Secondly, my NEW TRUCK is going to be here the week before Christmas!! EEEEEE I am SO excited!

1 comment:

  1. Yay early Christmas present!! Hehe! :D

    I don't know why I didn't think of a bareback pad. Duh! I'm glad you were able to get it sorted out. I need to work on getting Chrome's head down in the canter... without me thinking he's going to crow hop lol.

    I can't wait to hear about the dressage lesson. When is it scheduled for?

    Also I wish your riding buddy had gotten a video of App doing all his fancy moves. :D