Thursday, 5 July 2012

Lesson #10 Contact and... ugh... canter

My lesson last week was cancelled so we made up for it on Sunday. My Trainer had a fall off of a horse she was working with, and ended up with a severe concussion and a bad neck sprain and possibly a broken rib so we had to put the lesson off for a few days until she was able to move a little better and could coach me from the ground.

Sundays lesson was hard because usually if i cant get my horse to do something with T's instruction she will get on and work on it with him, so on Sunday i had to fight that fight by myself but im glad i did. We started out with a warm up loose rein with a nice swinging walk around the arena and a nice loose trot around the arena before picking up the reins.

We started with getting G on the bit in both directions (my legs were burning from pushing him up into the bit) i am still struggling with the concept of inside leg to outside rein give away the inside rein, i also need to focus on not bracing with my elbows. Hes starting to pick up the contact much quicker and its getting easier to keep that contact which i am assuming it is due to him strengthening his neck muscles making it easier to keep his head in that position.

We attempted to keep the contact at a walk and a trot which wasnt bad he would occasionally have a moment were he would attempt to head butt me while i was on his back which was lovely lol being pulled forward then leaning back quickly to avoid a head butt... man wish i had that on camera.

Then T asked me to try it at a canter and to make sure he is picking up the proper canter lead, i tried not to think about it and just got him cantering.. i managed to stay on and counter clock wise he picked up the correct lead everytime, i was trying my best to stay balanced and help him find his balance it was ok not as beautiful and graceful as it was on a lesson horse i used to ride Kyra (but she was also only like 14hh and had a tiny stride) but G practically clears the arena in 2 strides. We tried a change of direction and it all went down hill, he would not pick up the canter when i asked him too, when he did it was the wrong lead and he refused to listen to my leg as i tried to keep him along the rail he would pull me accross the arena. We got to the point were he wouldnt even keep the contact he would just toss his head nonstop and lose all forward momentum we had. I tried asking him to canter in the corners i tried with a kiss like he knows on a lunge line, i tried more leg pressure i tried using the crop to reinforce my aids... nothing i got nothing from him on that side. We even tried on a circle and he still wouldnt pick up the correct lead.

I tried to take him for a trot nice loose and long hoping we could get his head back in it to get it just once on the correct canter lead.. but nope he had mentally shut down so we called it quits and i gave him lots of love for trying and getting most of what we were doing.

I know some people would say... "you let him win next time will be harder... blah... blah... blah" but honestly my trainer is leaving in 3 weeks and we are trying to fit in as much as we can into our lessons before she leaves so i have some direction and the tools to be able to work on it more. G is an amazing horse and always tries his best to do what i am asking with occasionally a little bit of a fight but in 2 weeks we have taught him contact and engaging the hind end at a walk trot and canter and now as he is still learning that we are throwing in canter leads... i dont care we got it one direction thats a win for me... AND and i didnt fall off or feel like i was going to fall off which has done tons for my confidence at the canter.

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