Saturday, August 17, 2013
Had a last ride today with the boys. Yesterday I rode both horses in the large arena. Moon was as expected a reactive horse. I walked him around on the lead and got him a little used the new stuff. Then I got on him and he was just fine. I did a lot of bending then trotting and cantering. He spooked one time but didn't really take off. That is one thing that is good. And then once when we were cantering He wouldn't bend and follow his nose. That was because he wanted to get back to the gate. So I worked her and then let her rest away from there. Today with him he was lot better. However, I worked him gw pretty good on the long line then rode him. He spooked a few times, but with the geese splashing in the pond. So I let him get used to them and kept riding. The fun thing was that I walked him down the rail with his head bent to the rail and then I would add my railside leg and swing his butt over a step then walk straight. I did this in both directions then started getting some leg yields. This is when it starts getting fun. At the end I rode him out in the yard and over to where I park my truck and walked him around. Then unsaddled and put him up. With So Grand yesterday I tacked him up and he was not real happy, so I rode him in the paddock about 5 minutes and then took him over to the arena and walked him around and then got on and he did real well. Not much spooked him at all and didn't have any trouble moving him out. Today, I got him over to the arena and did some gw with the long line for about 10 minutes and then got on him and we had a good time. Did some trotting and walking. No spooking at all and did all that I asked of him. No resistance to the walk or trot. I didn't get him to canter, though he did get into his extended trot. I took him out of the arena and rode him over to the barn and around some posts and down in the ditch a couple times. He was pretty calm. Then it was time to put him up too. So we ended on a good note with both of them riding the last few minutes out in the yard. Both horses did as good as can be expected.
Friday, August 16, 2013
Yesterday was another good ride on both these guys. I rode So Grand first so I wouldn't have to readjust the shims in the pad, it was already in it. He did real nice. I gave him a chance to just respond to my body energy and my clucking to him. He did good for a while but eventually I had to get the crop out in order to keep him going. But there were no dust ups. He got a little worried when I rubbed him on the flanks with my leg, but I kept it up until he showed that it didn't bother him at all. We worked on the bending exercises and stop and backup mostly. He would go into trot easily enough but not a canter. He didn't show any signs of discomfort with the saddle fit. Moon did just as well. We walked around doing the bending exercises then I got him moving out in a trot and canter. There are a few places he likes to stop so I made those places of work and it wasn't long before he didn't really want to stop there. I also worked on going through the mud puddle, making that a place of rest and then working him elsewhere. It wasn't but two or three times and he was willing to stand at the puddle and actually walk through it for me. In both horses cases before I knew it the time was up. I am pleased with the progress they have made.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Had a great time with the horses today. I won't bore you with all the ritual stuff I do with them, but I got Moon out and rode him in a somewhat dry paddock. What I was working on was his following his nose by doing the bending exercise. He is getting better. We even worked on a stop and backup with softness which he is picking up on. I did the cruising at the walk and trot with him. Also did several roll backs. They weren't perfect but they are a start. I also was able to get him into a canter a few times. The lesson was over way too soon. So Grand was very cooperative today. I got the shims adjusted and saddled him then moved him around to test things out. Then I got on him and he was just fine. We started with bending at the walk even working in some stops with softness and backups. Then we started to do some trotting. Something spooked him, I think it was my flopping the strings on his flanks and he started a to bucking but I was able to hold on to my night latch and snake my hand down to get a rein. I know he was just scared but I still kept him moving doing a lot of direction changes and acting like a drunk in the saddle. He did a little dust up again when I rubbed my leg up high on his flank so I just kept at it and kept him moving til he settled down. I didn't have to use a crop this time to keep him going until the end but I didn't bother to then. I also was able to get him into a canter a couple times so that was real progress. Toward the end of the ride I just walked him and worked on YH and stop and backup with softness and then started to ask for vertical softness while walking forward. He made some real progress there too.
Tuesday, August 13, 2013
I had a good lesson with both horses yesterday. I got moon out first. While he is very stiff flexing he is still a good horse. He has a high energy, but he stands well for saddling and putting his boots on, even bridling is not too bad. I like them to bend to me and lower their head when I put the halter or bridle on or off. He will do it but he literally springs right back. I was able to walk trot and canter him in the rd pen. The paddock was a pool so the round pen was our place. He did well following his nose. I have been working on a good stop and back up. He is getting it and believe it or not he is starting to soften vertically when I ask for a back up. So Grand is stands good for saddling too. The shims have made a world of difference. I think also for both horses the stretching I do with them has a lot to do with their willingness to stand and even offer me their feet. Anyway, I saddled him and I could tell something was off. I kinda thought the shims were not placed exactly right. So when I started riding him I could tell by his movement that he wasn't comfortable so I took the saddle off and repositioned the shims then resaddled. It was fine then. We did have a little bit of a dust up. No bucking or anything, but I use the crop to get him to move. Not much, Actually, I use it as a last resort. If he doesn't move with my body energy or my clucking to him then I use a gentle tap on my leg then to his hip until he moves. He began to move quite well, but something bothered him and he got a little worried. But from that point on he moved when asked. I even got him to trot quite a bit for me. Then I started working on bending exercises. All in all, the lessons were profitable.
Friday, August 9, 2013
It is getting more fun as I ride these guys more. Moon had his usual stretching and then saddled him and got on. He is stiff flexing but is getting better. I had about 30 minutes on him today. By the time I was done with him he we following his nose pretty good and even giving me vertical flexion at the standstill. He is stopping pretty good too. I am getting resistance free walks and trots. So Grand did the best yet today. I rode about 25 minutes on him and got some good forward out of him. I backed him up a ditch 3x after stretching him. Then saddled with the shims and no problems at all. I got on and just had him walk forward with no rein. I even got some pretty good trotting out of him. No resistance or bucks at all. When I got off of him and took the saddle off there was no soreness in the withers. They each get a stretching and massage after the ride too. It all went well. Hopefully, Monday will be in the paddock and then later in the week the big arena.
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Now I am at the point where the fun really begins. I solved the problem of So Grand's back problem in terms of saddle fit. The CSI pad company sent me some shims and put me on to some videos on how to use them. So Yesterday I fit the shims to his back and rode him. He did good except for not wanting to go forward. So today I intended to ride him much more. However, there was another issue, some mats in the aisle that he didn't like so I worked him through them before and after the training. I had about ten minutes on his back and used my crop to help his forward. I saw some improvement. But I also noticed that he really stiffened up on flexing whereas before he was soft as butter, now it is like he is a board. So I got to go back and rework that aspect and then get the forward movement. Once I have that I think he will be pretty good. Moon did real well today. I rode him about 30 minutes or so. We did lots of trotting and worked on bending and YH YF and stops. I didn't have to use the shim with him. The nice thing about my pad is that shimming is real easy to do or remove depending on the horse. I think tomorrow will be even better.
Wednesday, August 7, 2013
Today was the day I wanted to see how the horses handled being ridden again. So I got Moon out and in the rd. pen, too much rain today. I went through my usual stretching with him then put the boots on him and took some time to see if he needed shims with the pad. I noticed the last time I rode him that he was sore in the withers too. Anyway I figured out where to put the shims and then saddled him. He did buck, which he never did before. I could be the position of the shims. I am going to try without them tomorrow and see what happens. Anyway, I moved him around and noticed he is really hard to flex. I noticed too that he was not the relaxed horse he had been. So I took my time did just as if he had never been ridden before. Then when I did swing my leg over he was fine. There was a little bit of a different kind of movement to him, but I still went through the flexing and YH and YF then a step or two and continued that til it was good on that side then went to the other side and did the same thing. Before I put him up I took the saddle off and tested his flexing and he was still real stiff on both sides. I massaged the muscles around his poll real good so that he had lowered his head almost to the floor, not because I was pushing down, but because he got so relaxed. Then I tried flexing him with the halter. He was still pretty stiff. I think that he is locked up in the poll somewhere that is preventing him from being able to flex softly. So Grand got the same kind of treatment. I went through his stretching, put the boots on and then worked on trying to shim the saddle pad. Amazingly, he stood with no problem at all. Once I got the shims where I think they should go I saddled him with no problem. I moved him off and he didn't offer to buck at all so I just moved him around going through a review of gw exercises. Then I put the bridle on and started getting on and off like I did with Moon. He seemed more relaxed than Moon was and I started the YH YF and step off, but he has really sticky feet so I gotta get his feet moving to really see how he is going to be. Tomorrow we will go through the process again and see if we can get a little farther along.
Thursday, August 1, 2013
I didn't know what I would face when I got to the farm yesterday. I was thinking it would be just mud, but it was not too bad so I got into it with them. It was a bit slippery so I couldn't really let them trot a lot. But that worked just fine because I wanted to work on their vertical softness anyway and it was ideal to do that. In fact, the horses did very well. I just worked on the serpentines and stops and starts with vertical softness. All I can say is that they are making progress with this. I hope to be riding Moon, at least, in the next week or so.