first ride with my helper

Today was the first real ride by the Rugby Player, though we did do a test ride during his interview day last Thursday. He doesn’t ride like me, nor like a dressage rider, but things will be fine while we are doing these “get to know” rides for Z and him.

I got there before him, got Z out and groomed, and started to lunge her. I wanted to do some canter work today because if she is feeling fiesty she will definitely show it in canter. She was actually very well behaved, took the canter loose and relaxed (yeah!), and only missed her lead once.

When he got there we immediately saddled her up and got him started. Of course we did some walking and she did far less of this halting and propping behavior that has been an issue. I think she knows this guy won’t let her get away with it and seeing her not blow up will be a reassurance to me that I can force her through this balking too when I ride.

You might remember that Z has a little worksheet of what we want to accomplish by the end of the year? We are well on the road to making this happen. Rugby Player will be working for me 4 days a week, through til about Dec. 19th when we’ll take a Christmas/winter holiday break (husband will be home that last week of the year and I will be otherwise occupied), and a week off during Thanksgiving.

My main goal is to have her relaxed at walk and trot, under a rider, and during her transitions. Except for some real pissiness on the right lead (her tougher side) she did very well today and I saw already a few fantastic walk-trot-walk transitions! Woohoo!

Tomorrow the temps will be falling 30 degrees with rain tonight. I imagine she will be much more feisty tomorrow so I’ll get out and work her harder in the RP before RP arrives.

Today she was ridden for about 15 minutes. We’ll be increasing that by 5 minute increments and be up to 30 hopefully by the end of October. Ride for 30 through til Thanksgiving weekend, and up it to 45 after Thanksgiving, working towards 50 minutes of relaxed undersaddle riding with walk and trot. I’ll continue to refine canter on the lunge and during liberty.

We are having some difficulty with her not listening to the rein aid, and Rugby Player is a bit heavy on the hands (his major fault that many riders have). Her favorite evasion being to poke her nose to the outside of the circle. I’ll give Molly a call tonight and get her advice on how to proceed about this.

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3 Responses to first ride with my helper

  1. Kathy says:

    People who know me won’t be surprised when I say if Z is poking her nose to the outside of the circle I would think she has some type of imbalance probably due to asymmetry. They also won’t be surprised when I say that I wouldn’t think Z is purposefully making an evasion by doing this. But, I’m no expert nor am I any type of a trainer.

    • horseideology says:

      Hi Kathy – thanks for your input.

      I do see where you are coming from, and when she goes on the right lead (clockwise) she does show obvious stiffness. Also, I have had the chiro out and I know about the level of stiffness she has on either direction; it is much improved actually since last fall.

      However, during free lunging, liberty and lunging work she does not show this nose out behavior. When Molly rode her she did not do it either, only when I rode, so I think there is a bit of playing the rider involved in it.

  2. Take a look at her shoulders from behind her when she’s all squared up. If a shoulder or hip is dropped, that could be causing the issue too. Then, the chiro won’t do any good for that issue. It’ll be a farrier-trim issue. You’ve heard of the right or left handed farrier issue, right? So, the farrier’s dominant hand is stronger and they go at filing heavier, causing an imbalance in the hooves, which leads to body mechanic imbalance, which leads to all sorts of other things. My new farrier just showed me this, so now I can recognize that my old farrier was actually causing Molly’s occasional bouts of lameness, and it wasn’t just me seeing things, but that Casey was trimmed in such a way as to look cow hocked, when he actually is not.

    Anyways, just some thoughts.

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