Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day 6

After my two trip to speak in Jackson I am back. Raven and I had a great time this afternoon. The sun was shining bright and so was our workout. She is getting so light, there is a lot of float (slack for you none horseman) in the line. I had her doing backups, disengaging etc. with the lead dragging on the ground. Of course it helps if you can get these manuevers without a lead at all, which I can with her. I had her working on leg yields, and turn on hindquarters, that might be called a balanced turn on center, where I walk beside her come to a stop, as her to back up and when her outside front foot lands she is ready to pick up her inside front foot at which time I step out of the way and ask her to move her inside foot toward me and back which forces her to bring her shoulder inside and turn on the inside hind foot and go in the opposite direction. Quite an interesting move from the ground. It works in the saddle to, but you gotta know the foot falls of the horse to do this. She is getting good at this. We did round pen tranisitions trying to get more refined at downward transitions. Once I got in the saddle I got her buttery soft with the rein by using my leg on her side. Then we walked lots of circles working on lateral softness constantly using my inside leg and rein to soften her. Then it was back to transitions using my seat and legs and minimal or no rein. She stops good and turns good with leg and seat. Footing is still too slippery to do any loping or even much trotting, but we did some. Worked on leg yields trying not to use much rein except to position her poll. I had a great time with her today. You might wonder why I keep doing the same things over and over again. Well, because it takes lots of repetitions to get a horse to learn a cue. Sam Burrell said that it takes 300-400 reps to teach a cue and another 3,000-4,000 for the horse to learn it well. That takes alot of time in the saddle doing it every day or at least 4-5 times a week. It obviously takes alot longer if you only ride or work with your horse on the weekends. I am so blessed to be able to ride as much as I do. It also takes a willingness to get really cold. Well, until next time. By the way if anyone has any questions or would likes something clarified just send a comment.

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