Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Tune Up

I was on my own for last night's lesson due to the weather complicating life, so we got to work on T and Bridget specific issues exclusively. I love having lesson mates, but private lessons are the way to go for real progress (and an overwhelming amount of feedback!).

The inside of my truck/ice palace.


I had made the comment in last week's lesson on Q that I wished Bridget was as sensitive and forward as Q mare.

Last night, EC showed us the way. Nothing ground breaking here, we started off with me dropping the reins, grabbing mane and asking quietly. When that didn't get the desired answer, I asked loudly, then clucked, then spanked with the crop. This all needed to happen within a second or two and she needed to gallop off immediately.  Legs need to stay very still and off the pony unless I want something. opposite to a hot horse where you want to keep your leg gently against them. So, the stuff we all know how to do, just with someone supervising and making sure I was being super consistent in my requests. Which obviously, I wasn't.
We did this on the weekend. Much warmer.

The funny part was, B was actually pretty forward thinking when I got on, so I thought we might have an easy time of it. While I wouldn't say it was difficult, there was definitely some sucking back and bucking, as well as some giraffe faces to start. We quickly got to the point where a light touch had her cantering off. She knows what I want, she just needed a reminder to react more quickly. Then I picked up the reins with the task of that same light touch having her move out immediately while keeping round and straight, as well as consistent in the bridle. Difficult for B, but she's getting better all the time.
B likes to relax and take the time to stop and smell the roses poo.

We ended up focusing on that pesky left lead canter because that's where everything falls apart, even on a good day. B had definitely got the message about moving immediately from my leg, but the straightness proved an issue. Jumping sideways or counterbending in the transition are problems for us on a good day, with the added energy things got a little more "expressive". Left is her hard side and while she's pretty honest walk/trot, in canter it's pretty easy for her to use the momentum to throw herself through my outside aids. So, we got some better work, and went back to shoulder in walk and trot transitions to really enforce/exaggerate the bend we want in the canter transition. Back up to canter from shoulder in at trot, and improvement was made.

So, a good lesson. I was happy with B - she's matured so much in the last while. The whole "move immediately" thing used to make her shut down. Weird, I know, when horses are flight animals and should be all about moving. But, B is a girl who likes to think things through and ponder life a bit before taking action. While I would never say she's unintelligent, she definitely is very slow to act, make any decisions, or try new things. Pressure her before she's ready, and be prepared for her to shut down completely. I don't think she'd survive long in the wild. By the time she starts thinking about catching up to her herdmates, they're usually already  across the pasture.  She's gradually been thinking a little quicker as I've owned her, and apparently now we've made it to the walk to gallop stage without planning ahead first...maybe we'll no longer be the ones eaten by the lion? ;) All joking aside, I was impressed that she met us halfway last night and got right to work and tried to do what we asked.

12 comments:

  1. Glad you made some progress!!!

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  2. It sounds like a great lesson

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  3. That pic of her sniff in the poo is hilarious lol. Gotta love those private lessons that really zero in on exactly how to make a difference. Hopefully B got the memo!!

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    1. She has this thing about sitting and contemplating life mid roll. Its extra time consuming if there's poo to sniff.

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    2. She has this thing about sitting and contemplating life mid roll. Its extra time consuming if there's poo to sniff.

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  4. Run, pony, run! That kind of 'tune up' is so essential for these smart, lazy, thoughtful ponies - I do it frequently! The picture of her smelling the poo is priceless! LOL

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    1. I was doing a variation of the tune up and felt like I was winning, but as is often the case, I was neither demanding or consistent enough :) The poo pic is just so HER, lol.

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  5. Sounds like a great lesson! Also a good reminder that I may need to give Katai a similar reminder about moving off my leg :)

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    1. The tune up has changed our world this past week, although Bridget might argue it's change for the worse ;)

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