Monday, July 8, 2013

DON'T! Hold Your Horses


This was some great advice from my trainer in our last lesson.

Horses can be lazy in different ways. Some are obviously lazy as in you have to push, push, push to get them moving faster than a crawl. This is not how Loki is lazy but I am discovering that he does have a bit of a lazy streak in him. Loki has somehow sucked me into the fine art of carrying his front end around half the time!! The little rascal.

Seriously, I have been sucked in to holding Loki up way too much. This is how it works. We are going along at a nice trot we're even rounding a bit and stepping through when I notice that my reins get a bit heavy so I give a little half-halt and then let go a bit and Loki speeds up. Basically it is hold me up or I will get fast. Same thing with the canter.

So during my last lesson my trainer had me just completely drop him when he sped up from trot to canter. I let him keep cantering until all the sudden he realized, hey this is a lot of work and wanted to slow down at which point I said "no way Jose!" I made him canter a little bit longer and then asked him to come back down to the trot and got him at the pace I wanted and asked him to stay there. We repeated this exercise a few times before he finally started to get it.

I rode him again today and he was much much better at the canter. I am getting much better at not letting myself get sucked into holding him up. I just let him go and at the canter he just stayed at a very nice rhythm. The trot still not so much. We will continue to work on that.

Also just a thank you to everyone who offered advice on the saddle searching. I told my trainer I was not going to buy her saddle and I am back to riding in my old saddle. Having ridden in the other saddle for a while I was more aware of my saddle's shortcomings. But, now that I am more aware of them I am more able to counteract them. Basically I have to constantly remind myself not to grip with my knees or "knees off!" I think we will be okay in it for a while longer, at least until I finally find something better.

Anyways, We had a great week for the 4th but I've gotten very behind in emails, blogs and life in general. Hopefully I'll catch back up here soon!


6 comments:

  1. Interesting exercise with Loki. Simon does something similar. Makes me think!

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    1. I probably didn't even explain it very well but it does seem to be working for us so far. Sometimes our horses go a certain way or we ride a certain way and don't even realize we are doing it until someone points it out. I didn't realize how heavy he was on my hands b/c he'd been that way for a while and it just felt normal. When my trainer had me do the exercise all the sudden I was like "wow, this is how it feels to be "light" in the bridle!" Love those light bulb moments!

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  2. Love how our ponies like us to hold them... ha! Glad you guys are making progress.

    Hope the saddle search doesn't take too long :)

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    1. I know! Loki swears that his head is just toooooo heavy to hold up all by his wee self, lol. He has been better, though.

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  3. Aw I thought I replied to this but I guess it didn't go through! Well the short of it was, I'm going through something similar with Wiz where he "tricks" me into holding him because he takes the bit and leans on it and puts his nose down. But he also has the problem of doing the exact opposite and having NO weight in the bridle which isn't really what you want either!! It's hard to find that fine line! :) I mean, not until you're a grand prix horse and can do all the fancy moves with no contact, but I say that is far, far into the future ...... :)

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    1. I know exactly what you mean. Loki and I are definitely like drunken sailors at times where we find the line and then bounce around it for a while; on the bit, below, above and every where in between. Consistency is the hardest thing for us right now b/c he wants to get lazy and I tend to get absent minded. I have to really think about every step to really get the most out of him right now but it is such a great feeling when we get those couple of strides of just right mixed in with the all over the place.

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