Monday, April 2, 2012

Kota - Progress being made

This weekend went by too fast but I suppose that is how things go anymore.  Saturday Kota's owner came over and rode the App while she watched me ride Kota.  She was very, very happy (as was I!) that Kota is walking with his head down, that he stood still for mounting AND stood still while I picked up the reins.  Wahoo!  Progress is being made.  She wasn't as concerned about him walking like a giraffe under saddle as I am but I will continue on the course of "Horse, head down!".  It will only help him in the long run as he develops correct muscles and can then use his back more.  

Since we had such a time with bending and blowing through my leg on Thursday, Saturday I upped the ante by wearing my spurs.  Note my spurs are very small, blunt english nubs.  Kota's owner was concerned that I would A) train him to not be neck reined anymore and B)train him to only ride with spurs.  It took some convincing that I was not removing his neck reining training but I need to direct rein to install some buttons, like installing her desire to have him move away from leg pressure.  Finally I told her I would re-install neck reining if I needed to.  I also reminded her that none of my horses have to be ridden in spurs and that spurs are a reinforcement aid.  I then showed her how to tell when I was even applying the spurs so she could see I wasn't using them all of the time. 

This ride went much, much better than the first ride.  There were several times he tried very hard to blow through my inside leg when bending but he respects my little spurs and gave a decent effort of trying.  He only tried his sit back/not rear a couple of times which is a big improvement as well.  I tried his trot and he can have a nice slow western pleasure type jog when he stays balanced.  When he gets unbalanced or isn't being rated he will gladly fall onto his forehand and go faster, something the owner would like "fixed".  I told her I can't completely "fix" it with 30 days of training but I that I will try to get him trotting slower more than he will trot faster.  We will see.  She also wanted me to slow his canter so I decided to tried it out.  He only seems to be able to canter on the left lead under saddle and has no education about his canter.  He is very heavy, very fast and very unbalanced.  I will need to try some lunge/long line sessions to get him balanced a little.  I again told her I can't "fix" it with the time frame she has given me but I can get his training started.  She will need to finish it. 

Overall it was a nice ride.  We accomplished the basics of a turn on the haunches, we got a little bend to the right and we got a decent trot.  I will be riding again today, Wednesday and probably Friday.  Hoping he will have enough of a foundation to ride him on the road this weekend and maybe trails next weekend.  Time to get in the saddle!

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