Wednesday, November 6, 2013

bending and cloverleaf

The last two days I have gotten some riding in with Raven and Jake. I have been mainly working on some bending exercises with both of them. This gets them to be soft from head to tail because they are bending around my inside leg with softness. I do it at the walk first then move up to a trot and walk. The way I do it is to pick up the inside rein and bend their head, adding my calf/spur and asking them to keep their head/neck bent with softness until I release it. They are also to be following their nose around the circle. When I move up to the trot or canter and ask for this I first sit deep in the saddle as a cue to slow down and then pick up the rein and add my leg. This gets them to start to listen to my seat and leg. I walk them in a few circles like this with softness then go on another 20-30 feet and do it again. Another exercise I have been working on is the cloverleaf. I basically ride a cloverleaf pattern. This helps the horse to follow his nose again and also follow my seat as I bend in the direction of the cloverleaf. Many of the exercises in the intermediate we know, both GW and riding, but I am trying to refine things enough to move on to the next set. However, when I only have about 20 minutes of riding by the time I get through my GW it doesn't make for very rapid progress. Not to mention that rain we have been getting. I don't like to get the horses all hot and sweaty if it is raining out too, especially with it getting cold. The last thing I want is a sick horse. So I am on about day 28 with these guys, since I often have to alternate ride days. But the key is that we are making progress and are becoming the better for it.

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