February 8, 2013

Back in the saddle, lesson recap

Rose's month of full training officially ended yesterday, so today was my first time back in the saddle while having a lesson with CR. I doubt that I will ever be able to have any horse I own consistently in full training, but after getting back on her today I can see how addictive it can be and why so many adult amateurs end up with their horses in training programs.

Wow! Rose feels amazing!

Now she's always been a comfy ride, but holy cow she's just friggin' amazing now. I can see why CR likes her so much and is certain that she'll sell sooner than I think. It's old news to me that she's easy to train and talented, but now that someone has actually given me a taste of her potential talent I'm gob-stopped! My goal is now to ride four days a week, with EB riding her the other two, and really just try and enjoy our time together until she finds a new home. If we keep having kick arse wonderful days like today, I am going to greatly miss her a lot when she does sell. However, I still think it's the right decision to find her a new home and for me to continue my search for my forever horse.

Screen shot from our informative yet long and boring lesson
video that I won't bore you with.

For those interested, here is my long winded lesson re-cap:

1. Balance: Rose is weak in her hind end (18 months of being out of shape) and as such tends to canter with her haunches in a bit, more so to the right. To fix this will require time and strengthening her muscles. I need to strengthen her muscles on the right side of her body and haunches. To do this, we need to work on haunches in, shoulder in, and renvers on the left rein specifically. At the canter I need to ask her to move her haunches back to the rail and not allowing her to throw her shoulder out when she gets tired. Another thing to keep working on is spiral-in circles (20m into 15m) and changing bends through the use of serpentine patterns. Other than that, I shouldn't do too much pattern work with her until she's more balanced as it is asking a bit too much and she'll get tired and overwhelmed too quickly. I must remember to give her lots of breaks when she gets tired. I will know she's tired when she starts falling on her forehand and leaning on the bit. This starts happening around 35-40 minutes into the ride.

2. Consistent tempo & rhythm: Once she starts getting tired she loses her rhythm and tempo. She starts speeding up and slowing down on her own accord. Again, I must remember to give her lots of little breaks when she's tired and also make sure to use my aids to keep her as consistent as possible.

3. Contact & suppleness: She's doing amazing at staying nice and consistently rounded and on the bit, relaxing into the contact, lifting her back and being supple. I just need to continue to always ask her to go this way from now on. No letting her toss her nose up if she protests or is being lazy about a transition.

4. Jumping: We did not jump today, but I had CR hop her over some fences this past Wednesday. CR agrees with me that during her time off Rose has lost her confidence over course work and that I need to just start her over fences again from the beginning. So that's what I'll do. Starting with ground poles, on every single ride. Flat day or "jump" day, we will be trotting and cantering over ground poles.

So that's about it. Using Gingham's P's GPA method to score our barn time today, I'd have to give Rose a 3.75. She was an all around good girl, aside from some minor mare related sensitivity while being groomed in the cross ties, and I had a great ride on her. She tried really hard and was a superstar.

Happy trails and swooshing tails!


  1. Training is addictive :) as my checkbook can attest, lol. Love that Rose is doing so well!!

  2. Welcome back to the saddle. For sure you missed the ride. And of course it a good thing to have our horse a recap of horsemanship.



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