The weather here today is wonderful! It’s in the 60’s, overcast with a very slight breeze on the cool side. If only we had more days like that here but I imagine by Halloween we will be cold with freezing rain. So I’m taking it and running with it.
Hubby is home so after taking care of home errands and getting daughter by the bookstore, we headed out to Z. Hubby did a little work on her front feet as they were starting to chip and I wanted him to get a nicer roll on the front. For the first time, she looks like she has HORSE feet and not little baby hooves.
Her head also seems to have matured over the last few months and I’ve had to change settings on the sidepull to accomodate a larger throatlatch and longer nose. Her hips have gotten a bit higher then her front, so I think she may even gain some more height (withers will rise up after hips). Fingers crossed on every quarter inch I can get.
I hand grazed her for a bit while we talked. I spent a lot of time with Dear One when it was just us two, but the years of owning multiple horses meant less one on one for each horse. Now I have some time back to spend with Z.
Afterwards, we did some of Peggy Cummings Connected Groundwork exercises. Peggy comes from a background of Centered Riding (Sally Swift) and TTeam (Linda Tellington-Jones) so I’ve been interested in some time in trying out some of her exercises. Her work of relaxing the horse downward and throughout the body is also work that would synch well with the exercises by Mark Russell. If you are familiar with Wendy Murdoch’s riders’ body work, this would also be compatible.
Unfortunately, since she is not scheduled for a clinic anywhere close to me, I have to make due with videos and her book. I did buy her speciality halter as it has different adjustments on the throatlatch, poll and noseband then a regular halter. Since Z’s head was still growing, this was also helpful to have something that could adjust. BTW Z is wearing a medium and she is on the first hole.
I wanted to do the exercises with hubby giving me direction from the book, and providing any coaching and correction. I have to say that it was far more difficult then I was expecting but that’s okay. What I notice with the above is that because I am used to working with a completely slack line, it’s hard to remember to keep the tension! Okay duh! keep tension! Just a bit more practice and I can tell what my right hand is doing with my left! LOL!
The first 2 exercises are leading exercises done with both hands and using the line over the nose:
Starting on: It’s a step forward, step back with a slide in/out on the inside line before starting;
Slide in and slide out: It’s a one hand slide up to the noseband, pause with a bit of tension (Pulling the Bow) and slide out.
The second part with the bodywork I felt more assured and comfortable with having done much of it with the TTouch (part of TTeam).
Cheek Press: Very hard on Z to do because it requires release in the poll where she holds tension.
Cheek Delineation: Z liked this exercise a lot. We were doing it at standstill but eventually when I get coordinated we will try during the walking work.
Caterpiller: A little more concentration but very similar to a TTouch exercise such as Zig-Zag TTouch.
Chin Rest: letting the horse relax their chin into your supporting hand.
I took her over to the spooky area of the lawn where panthers worked and was able to get her to walk around- not fully connected but that was okay. We are both learning and I deliberately put her in a challenging situation.
These will be some fun things to do with Z when we are off from riding. Also, it should help with her bracing on the right side in her neck and provide some release from her poll.