Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Weekend News

So after being out of the loop here's some updates...

I worked at the barn this past weekend, as always (from Nov 1 until at least March 31, 2015). I had average rides after my chores. Mikey is getting "stuck" in his canter and I'm unsure how to unstick him. Our changes were progressing very nicely on the serpentine, except now he's starting to find stuff to spook at as he's learned the pattern. I normally shy away from pattern work, I don't want him anticipating. But, he's had such a difficult time with the changes that all trainers involved in our lives have agreed that patterning him first, then adjusting the pattern and eventually breaking it, would be the best way for him to learn.

He's starting to get silly when we ride, so I  know he's patterned. Now I have to ride better to keep getting the good results, and I have to find the jump in the canter again. Perhaps I'll stick a couple poles out or something. He's just very sticky again and I don't think a hack in the woods will fix it.

I had a little time to kill Sunday after chores because the barn owner's husband was add mag-flakes (sorry, no idea on the spelling) to the indoor. They had to take out a considerable amount of sand to make the footing rideable, and so had to add back some of the anti-dust agents they put in before. So while I waited I did what any good horse owner would do, I took pictures.

The herd. (left to right: Civan, Cocoa, Duke, Eddie, Mikey)
Mikey sporting the one eared look. Normally he tucks both in his hood.
I tried setting my phone on the kick boards by C and the mirrors on Sunday to attempt to video my ride. I actually get a decent view of the arena and there's only very small sections where you can't see. I was pleased with the view, but not with the video capabilities of my phone. I rode for about 10 min thinking it was running, when in fact it had stopped at 3:31. So it missed anything interesting. So here's a screenshot.

Cantering a 20m circle at B in prep for a change that the camera didn't get.
His changes were less than adequate Sunday, and I ended up working him for longer than I wanted because he gave me 2 good ones, and then all crap. Can't end on crap. An unproductive ride.

I worked him Monday instead of Tuesday this week due to the balmy high of 19 (with a real feel of zero) on Tuesday. Monday night was super windy. The clear plastic sides of the arena were buzzing in the wind. I ended up much more jumpy than Mikey. I decided to keep it short and sweet and easy, and only focused on getting him very very very connected in walk. I added circles and serpentines and making square halts and keeping the connection in halt to rein back or halt to walk. He has a habit of halting square, then taking a hind leg and adjusting it out, ruining the square halt. Well I had nice square halts! I did a small amount of trot, and a half lap of canter each way, and was pretty pleased with how he was. The wind noise was awful, and he was a little spooky, but he went to work and stayed very very connected and round. All those good muscles on top of the neck were working hard!

Perhaps we'll do 3 days of flying change work, 1 day of ultra collected work (the work I did with the German Riding Master last time I saw him), and 1 day of walking very round and connected work that will slowly become very round and connected trot work. When the flying changes are sorted out, we'll work on something else those days, but for now, 3 days of that.

I'm going to ride tonight and work on getting more canter and more jump in it, and then work the flying changes. I also am going to break out my Drift HD helmet cam. It has a number of attachments and a remote control stop/start, so I just have to get it rigged up in the arena and leave it be. Plus it can run for 30-50 min without running out of space. Maybe I'll have something to show you all tomorrow.

I also decided to put my truck on all year insurance. The insurance company was going to make an exception for me for Dec 2, but I could see all kinds of bad happening there over a verbal agreement (make sure you get things in writing!!!). Plus I have a feeling I am going to have several more occasions when I want to use my truck.


  1. I hate it when my phone stops videoing! Guinness gets super bored in the indoor, and learns our routine really fast. I usually only practice a show movement in little bits, so he doesn't anticipate or learn to blow through my aids. The exception is the medium/extended trot. We suck at this, so I like him to get amped up about them.

    P.S. Mikey is adorable. It's hard not to love a redheaded TB :)

    1. We haven't had an indoor to work in for almost two years now, I moved him to have one to work in this winter. He's still impressed by it so he's not bored yet! I don't practice the tests much either, just small sections. The only thing I do encourage anticipating are the mediums and extended trots! They aren't easy for Mikey either so any extra oomph I'll take and redirect for a better diagonal!

      And yes, redheaded tbs are the absolute best! Even if they are prone to acting like the red heads they are. Not that we're biased or anything :-P