Monday, February 21, 2011

Lovely trip out with the big boys

I took Garbo and Maraschino to Jool's place again today. I had in mind riding Garbo and Maraschino was just along for the outing - one of his glands is a bit swollen, and there is an airborne virus going round at the moment. So I think I'll get some echinacea tomorrow.

I got the boys in with the plan on taking them both, then decided to leave Maraschino behind today, and un-haltered him - he didn't budge - the gate was open but he stayed standing next to Garbo - I tried to lead him out but he kept coming back so in the end I thought - Ok - I think he wants to come!

So off we went, leaving Coco Monster behind. He was really good.

Anyway - Michelle came too - she was going to help me brainstorm on how to get Garbo to stay on the rail at canter. I started riding Garbo in the arena and Maraschino was in the paddock alongside.

As soon as we started cantering Jool's dog must have peeked out along the end of where Maraschino was, and gave him a fright so Maraschino started jumping, bucking (while we were cantering) and basically getting a bit right brain.

So Michelle did a bit of work with him online - he over-reacted at first to the downwards transition... as you can see... but soon after that he was trotting around nicely.

I was working on follow the rail and trot/walk/trot/canter transitions with Garbo.
It was very hot and he got tired quite quickly. But he tried hard.

Then Michelle hopped on Maraschino and we had a nice walk round the arena rail together. So Maraschino ended up doing something anyways!

Then Michelle had a ride on Garbo and gave me some ideas for strengthening and straightening his canter the rail - then she cantered him round the outside of the race - the one I am hoping to trot/canter him round soon. He tried to jump over the areas of long grass with his head down so I am kind of pleased it wasn't me for the first time LOL.

After that he was very very hot so it was bath time for both.

They both loaded impeccably!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Circle with Mr M continued

Well the day after the over-reaction day was so good!

He was calm and thinking right from the start and we got some lovely trot circles, and a beautiful canter transition. I kept it really short because he did so well.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Maraschino and the circle

I played with Maraschino tonight - about 6pm it was a bit cooler (it hasn't been cooling down at night the last few weeks but tonight was just nice - just right).

I decided I was going to get Maraschino confident enough on the circle to relax on it - not ask to come in and to relax. At trot.

We started off ok - he stopped at the pole and tried to paw it. Off we went again - send again - and he kept asking to come in before a full circle. I gently asked him out again every time. We also backed up a bit each time too so rather than getting closer he was getting farther away.

It took about an hour, and in that hour he; reacted to the carrot stick being lifted gently off the ground to 'send' by running away, rearing, - or should I say over re-acting. At one time he pulled back so hard I couldn't hold on the rope and it dropped to the ground. He didn't go far - just a few steps and then stopped at snorted at the rope on the ground in front of him and snorted at it.

He reared about 4 times I think - just little ones, usually changing directions at the same time. Then each time I just resent. Not sure if that was the right thing to do or not - but I did.

Then I asked him to change directions each time he went over the pole, and turn face and wait. Then we tried circle again. Finally he did a few nice circles - lovely curved body, nice trot. I asked for canter and he did the most beautiful upwards transition, he canter about half a circle and I asked him in. He seemed pretty pleased with himself. I let him rest for a bit.

As soon as he got distracted and looked elsewhere I sent him on a circle again.
So - by the end he was circling fairly calmly.

Tomorrow I hope the relaxation will come.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Riding again

It was over a month since I rode Garbo and that was bareback!
Off we headed to Jools to use the grass arena. I asked a friend to come so I wasn't riding alone, and it's more fun then too. Well I am pleased to say we walked, trotted and cantered!

I was so happy, and so hot!! We've had some scorching weather with humidity too. Add to that, Jools arena is surrounded by trees so you get no breeze.

Anyway - Garbo seems really sound and happy. I decided the arena is perhaps a little small for him to canter in (for now) so I decided next time we'd go in the race around the arena and three neighbouring paddocks. It has three sides, and each is about 150m long I guess.

My confidence is certainly improving. I'm so pleased about that. My new rule is working just fine - if I am nervous, don't get on, or get off. It's working fabulously.

We went back a few days later - I got there early to walked Garbo round the race inhand so see if there were any issues or thresholds. There weren't - just willow trees to nibble on!

I rode in the arena again - wasn't quite ready to canter in the race, and I worked on getting Garbo to canter on our difficult side, right rein - I got a couple of good strides. He stops in the middle (and eats)... I think he thinks it's a reward for cantering. So next is to get him cantering for longer down the rail, then work towards a whole lap. But I might try the race next time too.

We did walk round it (freestyle). One step at a time. Trot next.

My seat is getting much more consistent in canter which is allowing me to think about steering now. Yay.