Friday, November 25, 2011

thanksgiving ride

I had a good time with Raven yesterday morning. I worked with her on backing circles and backing angles. We also worked on lunging for respect stage 3 on 14' lead and then on a long line. Which she did real good at. Then we did some work on c pattern with long line. She got better as we progressed. Then when we rode I worked on bridle bending and then serpentine and then we moved up to backing circles. I did a little work with her on leads, getting her to move into a canter on the correct lead. She does good at this too. By the time we were done we were both spent. It was a good time with her. Later today I hope to ride with the grandkids and have some fun with them on horse back.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Moving on up with Jake

thought I would take a break and just let you know what was happening on the Jake front. He and I had a good workout yesterday. He is doing real good at the lunging stage three. I think I might move up to the 25 foot lead and see how he does. I worked on the bridle bending with him and then the serpentine which incorporates the bridle bending. We also got going on the cruising. He is movin' up in the levels. These are all mixed up in terms of the levels Clinton Anderson uses, but Jake is taking it all in stride and I am mastering these moves better myself in terms of learning the details of hand seat and leg positions so as to get the most out of the session. So for almost an hour each time we are making good progress toward getting more advanced in our horsemanship with feel.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Personal clinic

Well it was Saturday and I wanted to have my own clinic. I had intended to go to one but do to truck issues i decided not to go. instead I had my own with Raven and Jake. So I spent about an hour with each of them. Both are at the advanced level, but always need refining of the previous exercises. I worked with Jake on bridle bending, serpentine, lunging stage 3. It is amazing the kind of results you can have when you work consistently for a couple days in a row. Jake is softer than he has ever been. Raven is doing well at all of her work. The lunging stage 3 is getting real good, so is two tracking. We will continue to Progress through. I am thankful for the good weather to ride.

Friday, November 18, 2011

advanced with Raven

Ok, I started to work through the advanced level with Raven the other day. We just worked on Lunging for respect stafge 3 which is using a 14' lead having the horse back away and then send them left or right. My feet stay still and the horse needs to move around me without stopping or breaking gait until I ask them to do either and then draw them back in. This incorporates other exercises: out back, yield hindquarters and forequarters, sending. Raven has done this before so it wasn't that big of a deal. She did try to stop a few times 'cause I don't move she thinks she can stop. So I had to send her off again each time. But she got it. I worked her a second day as well. It worked in great because I had only a little time and didn't need to saddle her. When we are done there will be another 32 exercises to add to her field of knowledge. All 3 levels include more than 90 exercises so that is alot of things to do with your horse.
Many of he advanced exercises she has already done, but just needs to refine better so we are off to a good finish or start here. If the weather will cooperate and not get the footing too chopped up it will be good.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Winter riding

Suggestion for me next time. Wear gloves. I am having a hard time typing this 'cause my hands are in that state of cold and warm where they don't work so good. Thank God for chaps and jackets. They kept me warm and dry for the most part. It was really snowing for a while there. I took Raven out and worked her from the ground a few minutes to warm her up. I wanted to work on three exercises: bending with softness, serpentine and roll backs. So I spent about 15 minutes on each one. She started out a little resistant but  I stuck with it and finally she yielded and gave me the soft feel I was looking for. The serpentine was the best one though. She really got soft for me moving back and forth like a slithering snake across the road. I had her so soft that basically only had to add a feathery soft touch to get her to change shape and direction with a little bit of leg to support her. Then the roll backs. Those she does pretty good. I didn't have a fence to use, so just went back and forth on the road. By this time I was a little damp and chilled so I didn't spend as much time on it as I would have liked. All in all though, the time was well spent and we accomplished much.
til next time.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's raining, drats!

I thought I would write a little of what has been happening since the last post. I have still been working with Raven, moving her toward the advanced level. She is doing well, because I am learning little subtle details like lifting the outside rein just a little bit will make a difference in moving their butt over, or just holding the outside rein to stop forward motion on a side pass. These little details are what makes the difference between being successful in the manuever or not. Also, I found that if I grit my teeth, which I am known to habitually do, my whole body will be tense and thus that is what the horse feels, from my teeth right through my hands and seat. So I need to be more slack-jawed in order to accomplish softness. I have learned to also talk myself through a move out loud, the horse thinks I am talking to them, but it helps to stay focused on what move I am trying to get. So we have been making good progress. The horses are getting better and the rides more enjoyable for all of us.
I would have liked to ride today, but with the rain as it is I think I will give them a break and let them lounge in the barn for the day.
I watched a flick called, "buck" about Buck Branaman. Wow, is all I can say about that movie. I do have one beef with it though. They claim, Ray Hunt, Tom Dorrance are the ones who started this 'natural horsemanship' stuff. Not so, This is nothing new. John Rarey was known for this in the 1800's as was Jesse Beery.  In fact, the US Calvary used this method in training their troopers and horses, see a book titled "The U.S. Calvary Horse, General William H. Carter, Lyons Press, 2003. The first edition was published in 1895. They have been instrumental, though, in repopularizing the method.
I only wish I could get more of it in me so that I could be a better horseman for my horses and students.