Friday, 10 February 2012

Lesson #3 - Hop skip and a buck

Last night i had Lesson #3, i had spent the day fantasizing about what i wanted the lesson to go like to put myself in a more possitive mind frame, i was not going to get stressed, i was not going to be tense, i was not going to cry, i was going to ride my horse and trot and have an amazing lesson... one i could be proud of... and i did.

Everytime i see my trainer i learn a billion things about riding that i didnt know before... i had been lunging G on a slightly smaller circle then i should have been. I learned that tighter circles are a lot harder for young horses to stay on because it puts more stress on their muscles and joints, that it would probably be better for G to be lunged on a bigger circle. So we opened the circle up much more, T asked me to ask G for a canter, with the canter i got a gallop and a few bucks... that i am ok with because i would much rather he gets it out on the lunge then with me on his back. Lunging was the same on both sides... which i expected since he hadnt been worked since Sunday.

T gets annoyed with me sometimes when i take my time getting onto G, i like to make sure he is positioned properly and doesnt move while i am trying to get on... She feels that i should just get on quickly not giving him the opportunity to walk of and once i am on that is when i should ask him to halt and stand still. I find that really hard for me, i have gained a ton of confidence in the last three weeks but im not quiet ready to just hop on the back of a young horse i dont want to startle him... but i do get where she is coming from, what do you guys think? Which would you do just get on and make him halt until you are ready to go or keep circling the mounting block until he stands still enough to get on?

Our ride last night was great though here are some highlights;

1) Our halting is coming along. I am able to ask for a halt even a half halt using strictly my seat, my hands are getting much more steady and im learning how to use my hands and legs all independantly of each other. He is not backing up as much as he was in our last lesson but i have also purchased a dressage whip to help reinforce my aids, he is responding much better to me "throwing the reins at his face" and using my legs to push him forward to stop the backing but it is still some thing we much practise.
2) We are still working on the scary side of the arena G now will blatantly be rude and ignore my requests to go right into the corners which is something else we will work on, he will go into them perfectly fine half way through the lesson when he is paying attention to me and is more relaxed but i would like him to respect what i am asking him EVERY time i ask it not just when he is tired and doesnt want to fight me on it.
3) We did trot work (YAY!) with the sitting trot im learning to lean back and not tense up to prevent myself from bouncing around in the saddle, i also learned the difference between asking him to half halt and sitting the trot lol. We also did a little posting trot... i need to work more on my posting because i tend to lean forward and not keep my back as strong. I am also working on steadying my hands at the trot and not relying on them for balance. Considering last week the idea of trotting would make me cry im very proud of myself.
4) Im not sure what happened maybe my whip hit him a certain way but G decided enough was enough and gave me a few bucks and a change of direction with a liittllleee bit of a shoulder drop and i sat through it. I was not tense, i didnt panic, i kept my legs long (T droped my stirrups another hole and it made a world of a difference) and used them to absorb his movement and keep me ontop of him i did not pull on his face to get him to stop i just stayed seated and once he was done we picked up the trot again.

I have made huge progress with him i am so proud of myself and how far i can come. I will be back out tonight to practise what we have learned i cannot wait. Even with everything going on i feel like nothing can touch me right now, im ontop of the world...

ps... i am down 14lbs now in total <3 go me!


  1. I'm with your trainer on mounting. When you start doing circles it becomes a game. If you really want to get him to stand, I would make him back up to the position you want him at. However, by getting on right away, you aren't giving him time to act up. If you make him stand a little longer each time, the bad habit will be broken.

    And you go cowgirl! Nothing better then staying on a frisky horse long enough to actually reprimand him. And keeping your cool is always tough to do- more power to ya!

    1. Yeah i understand what you guys mean with the whole get on quick but i was always taught growing up that at the mounting block the horse is expected to stand still. He steps forward you push him back the same amount of steps he took. I dont wait like 5 mins to get on but i wont keep my foot in the stirrup and one foot on the mounting block if he is walking off lol. I also dont quite have strong enough muscles to pop on... im working on that though :). He has gotten a thousand times better... i will try to get a video to better show what he does :) Thanks for your input!!

  2. Jessica, I'm with you on the mounting issues. I like my horses to stand still as I get on and after I am on. My 4yr likes to swing her butt away from the block, so I put a muck bucket on that side. When I get on I give her a piece of sugar to reward her for standing still. One of our other horses had an issue with us being above him so we worked him on the ground walking up and standing by the block while someone was standing on it. Now he walks up to the block and moves himself over if he is too far away. So maybe try working him on the ground using treats and enlist help when you get on. Sounds like he just needs time.

  3. Mounting is one of the scariest times for me. I feel very vulnerable in that moment of swinging my leg over the horse. Tessa was not great about standing still, so it took us a while to mount. Our time is getting shorter, but I still take five minutes to mount because I don't want her to move and I put her back. If she circles more than twice, I actually get down off the block and have her back up to the position. If you're feeling insecure about it, have someone stand at G's head for you. My first trainer would get after me about it too, but my current trainer doesn't seem to be phased. If you've worked on the mounting block thing for months and he's STILL circling, then you need to look at what you're doing but since you've just done it a handful of times I think you can give yourselves some time to get used to it.

    I'm glad to hear you two are making progress!

  4. Nicole; he is still young so i am hoping that with time he learns, he has gotten much much better since our first ride so i think it is just asking him more often even if i am not out to ride to stand there and be patient. It seems that is what he is nervous about, me above him but he needs to trust me and i know that will come with time.

    Mona; I have the same anxiety about mounting, and i am always willing to take the time to put him back where i want him (kinda like dog training i did with my dog...) My trainer gets a little annoyed lol but she has a big TB that is a little crazy lol and on a TB i could see that it is very important to just jump on lol. I dont want to start to rely on someone to hold him for me either because then when i want to ride by myself it would be very frusturating.

    Thanks for you input you guys :) im def gonna try putting something on the other side of him and stay patient like everything else it will come with time :)

  5. I let my horse circle until he is ready to stand still. Once he lets me know he is going to stand then I get on. So, a little bit of both columns. It has worked for me, he stands very quietly for me to get on and once I am on now.

    The thing with young horses is to not worry about them standing still after you get on, it's OK if they walk away. It's easier to teach them to stand after you're on later, then get into a fight over it when you first get on.

    1. Yeah thats how i kinda look at it lol. I just dont want getting on to be a stressful thing for me because i know that it will turn it into a stressful thing for him. I want him to view our time together as a good thing. We will see how it goes tomorrow i have had a bad stomach flu and havnt been out to ride very much.