Monday, November 30, 2015

Lesson 11/24

I hope everyone had a nice holiday! I was computer-free, so I am very behind in my reading and I have some posts I started that need finishing and posting.

Lesson 11/24
Nap time in the sun. Blanket eater Dix is behind him.
We started with showing our progress on turn on the fore. It's harder for Penn off the left leg. Trainer liked the progress we were making, but the steps weren't consistent when I asked for more than one step at a time. With every step, he was stepping out more and more behind until he was so camped out that he'd shuffle the next few steps. She had me do a single step of turn on the fore, and then immediately walk out of it. Then two steps and walk out of it, etc.

We changed it to walking turn on the fore, eventually riding a box and square figure 8 with quarter turns. Every time I asked for one, I got an improved response to the half halt and a little more sit from each half halt. It made him realize that half halting was a cue that he better pay attention because something is going to be coming up next. We used the walking quarter turn on the fore to transition to trot, and got a much better trot right from the get go- light and relaxed.

I got pictures of the final clip. Left side.
We started dabbling in the lateral world in this lesson! Most of it was centered around me just being able to move either the haunches or the shoulders, we weren't looking for all the correctness right now, just a response that he had some idea of what I wanted. We started with a little shoulder fore, which worked well each direction.

The next exercise was a bit more complicated: 10m trot circles into haunches in right on centerline into 10m right circle, to 10m left trot circle to haunches in left on our arena's quarterline (35-40m wide arena)- the left was VERY HARD for Penn. To the left, it was more leg yield than haunches in, but all we were really looking for was the movement of the haunches.

Penn had some great moments in his lateral work, but I need to get my act together for anything with left bend. It's harder for him, so I contort myself to try to make him find the bend, which obviously doesn't help him at all.

We moved on to work in a more forward trot to get him rolling again, then hopped onto a 20m circle left.

To work on the left lead canter: trot, canter, then immediately trot again, repeat until the transitions work better. Toss in a canter one loop. Then 20m circle at the other end of the arena, transition to trot, canter, trot, canter, trot. Right hind, right hind, RIGHT HIND NOW DAMMIT. Canter. Canter one loop, back on a 20m circle, trot, stretch, collect back up, walk with a purpose. Rest.

Right side.
The right hind is a huge failing in the work to the left. I know it's partially a strength issue for Penn, partially my heavy left hand, and partially my right leg not making the right hind keep up.

We repeated the exercise to the right next. Penn had less trouble with the right lead, so we did more one loops and less transitions. Since the right lead is steadier, it's also quieter, which makes me lazy and I let a lot of the jump leave the canter. I need to work on keeping after him to the right for the jump and stop accepting quiet as good enough.

Our fabulous new wreath that a friend made!


  1. Penn's clip job looks so snazzy. Love that wreath!

  2. ugh i contort myself trying to bend *for* the horse too... such a pesky habit!

  3. I'm a master at the pretzel when it comes to bend. I don't know how I contort myself in some of the positions.