Monday, March 17, 2014

Moving On

First of all thanks for the many supportive comments about our new bit. I am feeling much better about it. It is amazing how we can get ourselves "stuck" about some things. You hear things like "every horse should be able to go in a snaffle" and it can make you feel bad when you don't meet that expectation. But, I realized I've got to give myself some slack. I am an amateur rider with limited time and experience to draw upon. I am doing the best I can and I always have my horse's comfort and safety at heart.
Limited horse photos to share but Pixel Pictures are always fun!
So we've moved on and the best thing is I gave Loki two days off and then we rode in the outdoor again and we had an amazing ride with just our simple snaffle and not even our running martingale! We kept a good rhythm and jumped a whole course of cross rails with very minimum speeding up. My long term goal is to get back in the simple snaffle for all phases and I think it is totally doable. We just need more time and experience. And now I can be super excited about our progress without the guilt!!

Now that our canter is getting a million times better I'm finding other little things to work on as well. For instance we really need to practice picking up our leads on a straight way. I've been a little lazy, I guess, and have relied on the corners or turns to pick up the canter and when we were jumping it really showed that getting the correct lead was an issue. So today we simply practiced picking up the lead I asked for. We had some trouble with the left lead but mainly that was because the barn was to the right and I didn't quite have Loki's 100% focus. It took 7 or 8 tries but we finally got the correct lead twice in a row on the straight way and then called it a day. It's fun to have these kinds of things to work on instead of the big, overall "our canter is all over the place and needs work" work to do.

And our other project for right now is taming the mane!
Loki looking less than thrilled with his new do.
I got the inspiration from Viva Carlos when she reviewed the book Grooming to Win. Loki's mane has always fallen on the wrong side (the left) and I haven't cared too much before because we weren't doing any showing that really required much braiding but if things go according to plan this summer we will have to be doing some braiding. After reading Viva Carlos post and seeing the very nice braids she did on Ramone I figured I had no excuse especially since I've owned that book for a few years now!

So for the next two weeks Loki's mane is going to be braided. You can tell that the braids don't even want to lay flat on this side. I'm hoping this will work but Loki's mane is so thick and so determined to fall on the left that I'm not sure if it will be a success or not but I guess we'll see!

19 comments:

  1. Ramone's braids were in for 1 week exactly, and other then now and again its staying pretty well on the "correct" side :)

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    1. Glad to hear you had success. I am going to try and keep his braids in for the full two weeks since his mane is so thick but at least I know there is hope!

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  2. I need to do this to our new mini, his mane is ridiculous. :))

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    1. Minis can get away with ridiculous manes because they are so cute! :)

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  3. Oh Gosh! Manes! Scuba's mane stays on the correct side most of the time. It's just the mane pulling that's our issue....which reminds me, I've go to do that.

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    1. I need to pull Loki's badly as well but I figured we'd get this over with first. I really wish braiding would just go out of fashion, though. It's such a pain in the rear!

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  4. I need to do this to my horses mane!! It's gone crazy.

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    1. They sneak up on you like that, especially in the winter. One minute it looks all nice and pulled and the next it's like a shaggy dog!

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  5. Sneakily catching up on your blog on my lunch break- I feel like I've missed a lot since foster pups are keeping me so busy!
    I tried the braiding thing on Oscar's wild, thick mane and it worked a treat, so here's hoping it works for Loki :)
    So happy you guys are making such quick progress with your canter, too!

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    1. Oh very glad to hear another positive result for this method! I can't wait to pull them out and see if it worked for us!

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  6. Gosh my girls manes area mess!
    Nancy pulled a sizable chunk out of hers a few weeks back; I'm talking 10-15cms missing from the middle of her neck and I had been doing so well at nurturing and grooming that sucker to encourage it to grow into flowing friesian locks. I had it neatly plaited when she must have scratched her neck on a low hanging branch and ripped it all out, *sad-times*
    Kika's mane is in dire need of pulling and general tidying up - and both girls have 3/4 of their manes lying on the "correct" side, but at almost the same spot a portion of it flips to the wrong side ALL the time! I had tried to braid Kika's mane over whens he was younger, but maybe it was too short - perhaps I will try again before pulling it this time...perhaps with more weight from the length of it it will 'train' the mane over to the correct side.

    Does your book recommend a certain period of time to leave the braids in for increased success rate? :)

    PS: More Pixie pics please, can never see enough cute puppy pix!

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    1. The recommends 2 weeks however L. Williams says she only left Ramone's in for a week and it worked. I'm going to try and keep them in for the whole two weeks. I'll let you know how it goes.

      Pixel is a very cute puppy! thanks! :)

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    2. Oops, I reread the section and it actually only says for "a few days" so I'm thinking just a week is long enough. This is good news because that means I can take Loki's braids out on Friday. :)

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  7. I always train the mane in the spring, however if it lays evenly on the wrong side, I just leave it!

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    1. I was very tempted to leave it but my trainer wanted me to still braid on the "right" side which would have been a pain, I think, without training it to the right first.

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  8. Henry's mane is a mohawk... i kinda like it!

    Loki is cute with his corn rows!

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    1. Thanks! and Henry's mohawk mane suits him perfectly!

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  9. What breeds your pup?

    And braids... I need to do this to hue... As well as pulling.

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    1. She is a bi-blue merle sheltie.

      Yeah, pulling is next on the to do list. fun, fun but at least it means spring and shows are on the horizon!

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