Sunday, January 1, 2012

Pffffttttttt!!! Who's Out of Shape??!!

I set out on a mission today. I packed my camera up and my Carhart and headed out. Olly has been showing me that he has remembered a lot more than I had expected. Today, we were going to be working on transitions and simple changes. I wanted to do some exercises with ground rails, but I didn't have any.
Come one Mom, let's get the boots on and get rolling!!

We started out doing light arena work. Walking and trotting in both directions and a few laps cantering, just to warm up. The plan was to be as informational on the video for Maddie, my friend with the OTTB, in VA. After warming up, I started with a working trot. It was time to start working on collection. He was going to have to really work at it, since he hasn't worked those muscles in quite some time. In the videos you will see that he is trying, but can only hold a half way decent form for short periods. It will improve the more we ride. I'm not really worried about it just because it is the lack of muscle. It will develop in time.

Here are two books that are a must have:

The first video is mainly transitions. We did up and down transitions. For the last few rides I have been noticing little things that need fine tuning. I know it's difficult holding his form. While doing some of the trotting I really had to keep my hands still and good contact with the bit. I also had to keep my legs on him to encourage impulsion, I think he just needed the extra help. I also noticed that I was lacking on the outside rein. I know it has been a bit since we were consistently riding, and I know that outside rein is important, but I didn't remember how important it was to him. As I watched the video, I did see how loopy my reins were. Fail. That is why I like doing work and recording, so I can see what I am doing wrong. I set up a few angles to video from.

Note to Maddie:
     Things to watch for-in my riding and also yours:
           * keep your hands still
           * keep contact with the bit-no loopy reins
           * no posting ( that goes for up or down transitions) unless the gait you are going to stay in is a trot
           * keep you heels down and legs still NO BUMPING HER SIDES
           * maintain same tempo
           * remember diagonals
           * don't be afraid to fail. just try again
           * have fun and don't get frustrated

The most difficult for me to accomplish out of the above list are loopy reins and bit contact. With out those you lose your horse. You can see in the video him falter when my reins go to shit. Oh and don't forget the bend. Bend is the curve of your horse's body when turning . I think of it as one minute past 12 noon (like on a clock).

In the last part of the video we do a simple lead change. Right to left. His body enters the diagonal slightly bend to the right, we break to a trot remain straight and then bend to the left for the lead change. Now, in reality, he should be bent to turn, be straight for the entire change then bend to the left to change direction. We are not perfect, but it's a start.

The next video is more on lead changes. The BRH had a few issues with anticipating my next move. Of course, he was right 99% of the time, but that does not make it acceptable for him to do. We had to do a little corrective training, which is on the video. I had to use a lot more leg and even get the lunge whip out to help hold him. He dropped his shoulder, which may have been an outside rein issue. My bad.

After the arena work Olly still seemed to have some energy. I decided a short hack would be a good reward for such a good ride. We went to the nearest downed corn field, where we usually breeze the length. I was scanning and noticed that in the middle of this field there used to be a tree line. Now, all it is is huge logs and stumps....**idea** I bet I could jump that shit.  We trotted across the field to check it out. I found a few logs that would be perfect to try out.

 Log A
Log B (Let's go Mom!!!!)
Log A is in the video.

She's seen better days...

Roached mane

Mom, please...I'm eating.