Friday, September 21, 2012
Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend a Ken McNabb clinic. It was well worth the drive to Sparta, not only to say hi to Ken, but to learn what I could from the day there. I did pick up on somethings that I could use and did put into practice with good success with the guys today. What were they? Well, I was reminded to stick with an exercise until they get it. Sometimes I have a tendency to quite too early or to accept too little too soon. Secondly, just working on the bend on a circle and then once they are soft laterally, pick up the outside rein and hold til they are soft vertically. That can often take quite a few circles. I found that out today with DarkStar. He picked things up right away going to the left, but to the right he was alot more resistant. There could be many reasons for that, but once he got it it went better. I even started him at the trot and he picked up on that and was moving with softness, head down at the trot. Now this is a high headed guy normally, but he was soon carrying his head lower. When I got on star today he usually would want to take right off in a trot, but today when we started he wanted to go, not at a trot, but a fast walk, so I put him right to work on this circling exercise. Almost 30 minutes later he is carrying his head lower and softer and responding to my seat and legs. A third thing I learned or was refreshed on was the stop. We didn't have a lot of time to work on this, but he did get his stop better, now we just have to get his walk to stop to backup better so that it is a walking backup. Robbie, did real good too. I went through my normal gw routine, a shortened version, saddled him up and then got on him and started working on those same things. We progressed to getting some good trotting with softness and even some good cantering around with him. I had a great time an both of them. We made good progress. I only wish I would have had more time with them today. I can't ride again until Tuesday so they are getting some time off. But next week we will pick up where we left off.