Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Remembering Freely Forward

Mikey has been extra lazy on his right hind leg. It's always been so, but the past couple days it's been worse.

I hurried out to the barn yesterday to ride before the rain came though (it never did) and before it got dark (it did). Ha. Anyway, days like that I will work Mikey straight through as much time as I can get before having to go back to the barn. Sometimes it's 20 min, sometimes 40. I got about 30 min in yesterday.

I remembered from my lesson that I had used my forgotten whip to help get jump in the canter. I used the same idea on the right hand side of my horse in the trot yesterday. He was really leaning on my right leg, and not bending well. I remembered the more forward from lesson, and the forward lesson I gave to my friend's horse a week ago, and decided to time a tap with the whip with the step of the right hind. Any time I lost the freely forward in the trot, or her leaned in the corners, tap, and he straightened right up and moved out.

I had been struggling with connection yesterday as well. I try not to ride in his double too much because I find when I go back to his micklem and snaffle he doesn't always connect well. He's lazy, his trot is hard to sit, and combine the two and I'm exhausted just maintaining what he's doing so I sometimes forget that I carry a whip all the time for a reason, to use it in times like these! The tap tap with the whip found the extra energy I needed, and he connected right up in trot.

After that we worked on maintaining the softness and connection in shoulder-in to half pass, and shoulder-in to haunches-out. I stuck with simple stuff that we can get right quickly since I didn't want to open a can of worms and run out of daylight (ie flying changes are for the weekend).

We had a lovey stretchy trot to finish, then I walked him back to the barn.

And how did I reward a good job? I pulled his mane.

Sorry Mikey!


Neat and tidy again. I shaved his bridle path, whiskers, and "goat hair" (the hair under the jaw) too.
He got treats before and after. Yesterday was a good day to do it because it was 79 degrees, he had just worked, and so theoretically it should be easier to pull out. He also needed to dry a little, he was sweaty!

I plan on riding him the same way tonight and possibly tomorrow, then he's on vacation Friday and moving to our new barn Saturday!

And now in honor of National Cat Day, an amusing picture of Penny from last night for you to take with you on your travels:

"Whacha doing?"

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