Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Russell Lessons

Well I had 2 lessons with Russell today.

First at 8.30am with Maraschino at home. We started with seeing how he was upping the energy with the rope tossing over his neck and back...he was ok and then Russell stepped in, to show me how to not get the slap with the end of the rope each time and his energy must have been way more than mine because Maraschino took off backwards at quite a rate. Russell kept on tossing that rope until he calmed, licked and chewed of course then came over to me for a hug. lol.

I did some more and on the other side which was harder. He said I should increase this until you can do it so that the rope and popper make a cracking noise on the ground before the next throw. Also alternating - three on the back, three round the front legs and three round the back. That way they don't have time to get too worried about each thing....

Jane - Maraschino (while Russell and I were talking next to the tire) offered to stand on it - he put one foot up a couple of times and looked at us as if to say "Shall I?"

Then we did the same thing - rope tossing but with him going on a circle and not stopping - so that they get used to extreme friendly while moving (raincoats while riding etc). He did that pretty well.

Russell then asked how he was at walking forwards with his head down - perfect he was... Russell said "ok no need to go over that".... :-). The reason we are getting so vigorous with the rope over his back is that he said one day that will be me going over his back so I need to be sure he will be fine. And to do it with plastic bags on the end of the carrot stick etc as well.

Then we did walking forward moving the HQ, backing up, then moving the FQ (all in same direction, then starting over (meanwhile I walk in straight line even while backing). He said it gets them to put their weight back.

Then we did lateral flexion - and then lateral flexion to a stop while walking in Zone 3.. ok - me walking in Zone 3, Maraschino walking forwards, me approach his HQ and rub on his back and ask for lateral flexion at the same time, to a halt. This gets them used to stopping while being ridden etc. Very cool. Russell noted he didn't really have any opposition reflexes or braces with any of that...

So all looking good so far with Mr Maraschino.

Then I took Garbo to Jool's as we were sharing a lesson there with Leigh Munro. Man I am a bit sore in the legs today after being on Garbo for over 2 hours I think....!!

Well we did Counter turns today with one rein riding!

It's all about only having one rein and not swapping sides to turn the opposite way to the side the rope is on. The aids to turn therefore are, eyes, hips bellybutton, leg, REIN, then back up with carrot stick.

BOY - This really made me realise I am doing Rein first for the turn and not eyes, then body, then leg (outside), then rein. We practised at walk doing weave for what seems like an eternity - Garbo was just starting to get it then we changed to Figure 8 (because Russell said they get used to the pattern)... blah... all out the window again.

I am going to really really concentrate on this just at walk for some time till it is indelible in my mind. What you do for rein is lift till you feel the snap (up) and then lean it on the neck - but don't cross over the mane.

We tried a bit of figure 8 doing the same thing but at trot... Garbo is still a bit stiff.... then back on the rail for a bit more....

Then we finished up with sideways (how to improve and refine it (don't lean)..so that they can bend their ribcage the correct way...

What else....backing up then turning the FQ, we did that on the ground too.....

I think that was it!


Cilla said...

That's a lot of stuff to remember. Excellent x

Vicki said...

Yeah I know! I forgot something - we did the unravel the horse with the rope thing but waited first for lateral flexion (so they don't always presume), then once they have done a 360 you send them on a circle.!

Connima said...

Sounds like a very intensive day. Garbo looks so relaxed in the last photo.

Twinnie said...

Fabulous Vicki!! So proud of Maraschino - offering to put his foot on tyre - what a cutie!! I definitely need a lesson with Russel with Merlot to get us thinking about those onboard kind of things. Just look at that smile when you were riding Garbo - lovely!!

Glad you had a good day.
Me x