Friday, November 27, 2009
Partial disengagement - I am in love with it
Oh this programme just gets better and better. I had great success with this today with Garbo - it worked just like Linda said it would and it was easier than I thought too!!
Went to a very cool grass arena today (and on that note yay that finally I have found an arena I can use anytime I like - no need to book and basically no one else ever uses it in the day. It's surrounded by trees but not on the edges of the arena - around the property boundary fences so the whole place is really sheltered from this annoying wind.
I was supposed to meet Bronwyn at the top of the driveway at 10am. I played with maraschino and loaded the float with my saddle etc, and then at 9.45am went to load Garbo. He must have picked up I was a bit nervous (new place etc), and he decided he wasn't going to load. It shouldn't have mattered but of course I knew Bronwyn was waiting on the road so was in more of a rush.... and he knew it! Then the neighbour teenager came down to the fence-line to go through the gate and into the paddock where he has a smoke I think - in his camo gear and hoodie. I said Hi since he was like right there but then he decides to chat and then after the chat was finalised by moi - he decides to just stand there and stare. He was kind of between bushes so it was a bit annoying - shouldn't matter I know - but it did. Today anyway. I finally asked him to move. "Do you mind NOT standing there?" I said. He goes "oh' and wanders off. Felt a bit bad but heyhoo.
So - Garbo not wanting to put Zone 5 in the float for some reason....at one point he turned on the ramp so I was real quick and backed him in there heehee. I tried to relax - I texted Bronwyn to take the pressure off - that was at 10.03am.
We were on our way by 10.07. Garbo still wasn't 100% but I decided to work on that when I have more time - I know - I can hear you saying "take the time"...but you all know what it's like when someone is waiting for you.
So - we arrived at Jools place and it has a very peaceful feel to it. Garbo had lots of long grass and carrot weed to eat while we were saddling up. I untied him to out the hackamore on and he wandered off after that while I was talking to Bronwyn - leaving Critey and us and going off to visit the other horses no less. I got him back and then he did it again....so I had to pry him away. Garbo seems very relaxed there - as do all the horses actually.
So - we had proper rails - post and rail all the way round and a line of tires on the ground down the middle of this lovely flat spongy arena (weedy kykuia grass).
We started at walk following the rail - I tried the partial disengagement at walk and we did loads of follow the rail both ways with a few corners thrown in for good measure. At trot though he was a bit more emotional - he was a bit tense (head down grabbing reins, looking like he would buck and he did buck twice so I did the partial disengagement - OMG - I AM IN LOVE WITH THAT!!!!!!!! It was really easy and here we were feeling like we were doing fancy dressage around the arena with him facing out 45 degrees. At trot!
It turned him into this amazing lovely calm horse - and any time he got a bit tense again or rushed I just popped him back onto 45 degrees - instant results. I we made a few patterns of follow the rail at trot and he was really getting into the pattern - I was really pleased. In fact he was so calm and going so well I felt confident to ask for canter - and you know what - we cantered round the rail for about half a straight at a time - on both leads and on all sides!!!!!!!!!!!!
But BEST of all - for the first time ever I had a TRULY loose rein. I could sit back and feel relaxed, didn't grip with my legs and I didn't come out of the saddle. Relaxed - hah - it's actually a lovely gait when you relax!
Bronwyn got some of it on video for me....that's her doing the commentary lol.
Well I still have a grin on my face - I had just been saying to Bronwyn that I have not had the chance to really practise my position in canter feeling relaxed - and voila! Now I have this arena to use I know we will advance in leaps and bounds. I am going again on Sunday and then on Wednesday too.
Garbo was pretty hot afterwards so I hosed him down (I have water in my float) and we came home again - loading wasn't fabulous but an improvement (only about 5 asks).... Bronwyn kindly said she wouldn't leave till we had loaded.
Got home and the boys were waiting patiently - I had made up some food to give them as I left but in the rush I didn't - I sneaked it to Maraschino when the other two were back in the paddock. He was happy.