Friday, May 21, 2010

Lessons with Russell

It was a very foggy morning and I got up at 6.30am to be ready for the first lesson with Maraschino at 8am. I had to hook up the float, take covers off, etc, and have breakfast and coffee...

We only had a small area really (by the hay shed) to do stuff in as I didn't want my grass dug up. I asked Russell if we could work on Maraschino and picking up his feet - he picks them up but not for long. He said massaging the legs for ages is a really good way to do this. And that we would work on it a bit later. But first - he got my swinging the end of the rope like a poi, while standing at the driveline to test friendly (Maraschino was pretty good) and then to swing the rope under Maraschinos neck and catch the end with my other arm. Yeah right - have you seen how tall he is!!

The end result was the rope end under Maraschino's neck like the bottom of a tied savvy string would be round his neck - and lifting the rope up while standing at the drive line, and holding till he stepped back. He said to do this with Garbo too - great way to introduce feel for Maraschino and savvy string riding for Garbo. But OMG my triceps are so sore now from holding my arms up so high for so long!

Then we did some rope swinging round his legs, and Russell said my friendly was pretty good and that he thinks the problem with him not letting Jools pull his legs forward for trimming (last two times) is a bit of stiffness and a bit of lack of respect - he didn't think there was any fear there. Maraschino at one point while having a rope round his fetlock was more focussed on the cows next door. He would suddenly kick out at the rope firmness and give himself a fright when the rope slapped him back.... but he was pretty good by the end of it. Still a ways to go but much better.

2.5 hours later we finished and Garbo was loaded in a mad rush to get to Jools where Leigh was waiting.

It was the most gorgeous autumn day, and we warmed up online then swapped to the 12ft lines to practise Mount From a Fence. I had seen Linda's Savvy Club DVD on this but Russell elaborated a bit more. Make the fence side the calm happy place, and the driving side the busy side. So when they were standing calmly alongside you, pat them, rub them for ages.

Garbo got it pretty quick - the electric fence was on two (2nd wire up from my feet!!)

Such a pretty place to ride!
Jools place looked great with all the trees loosing their leaves. We were in the big big paddock (the old arena). Finally we got on (funny I should say that).

We started with the hackamore but not using the reins but the lead rope part for more counter turn practise. I need to practise it so much - I have realised I don't use my leg... you know eyes, bellybutton, leg, rein, carrot stick - well mine is eyes, belly-button, rein, carrot stick. Hmmmm I can't remember having to use leg - can you? If so please direct me to the appropriate DVD so I can review lol.

We practised riding along the rail then doing 180's without swapping rein sides, so one turn was direct the next a counter turn.

Russell explained why the direct rein was called that and why the indirect rein was called that and did a demo on the ground with us trying in the saddle, to see where our weight shifted to for each. For direct we look up and to the direction we want to turn, making our weight shift away from the same front leg (same as the direction of the turn), so it can move first.... but for the Indirect rein - to the right say - we look towards the hip making our weight come forward and off the opposite hind (which moves first) making it the indirect rein. It all makes sense now!

Then we did dome backing up - 4 steps then moved the FQ over 4 steps, then backing up 4 steps again - to get them off the forehand, the trick being to keep the neck straight by using the supporting rein. Oh we had two reins again by now.

I had to keep taking Garbo for some point to point or follow the rail as he got a bit bored with all the talking. That was fun - we even had a couple of canters.
Then lastly we worked on getting canter leads "the best way" according to Russell. Bending the horse's head and neck slightly in and leg yielding away then straightening up, and opening up into canter. It was surprisingly easy.

Three hours later we wrapped it up!

1 comment:

Twinnie said...

Wow LOOK at that elevation in the last pic - fabulous!!!

We had exactly the same lesson from the sound of it! Looks like you had a gorgeous day for it....