Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lessoning on Kieran

So now we figure we're going to have to work on getting Kieran's brain back a bit. Mostly because, while the big trail ride last weekend was really good exposure for him, he didn't really have to listen to me. We were going with the group and I wanted to go with the group and he wanted to go with the group so I didn't have to do a lot of active riding and he didn't have to do a lot of active listening. So we come to last night's lesson. Still working on getting him to trot all the way around the ring without trying to stop. And he definitely made me work for it and for now we're working him without a crop.

There was a lot of squeeze, "Trot." .......squeeze harder "Trot!".............kick! "Trot!!". And he still sometimes kinda lurches forward if I goose him on that third try so I spent a lot of time with my hands in his mane to keep from accidentally catching him in the mouth.

And of course, once we start trotting, he wanted to go say...five strides and then stop. So then squeezesqueezesqueezekick! until finally we got him to make it all the way around the ring without breaking gait once. At that point he got to walk and rest and then we spent a little time working on bending: asking him with one rein, seat, and leg to bend inward off the rail, then switch and go outward back toward the rail. He did okay going left but to the right it was about impossible so I think we need to work on that. It was interesting to see him go from being testing-obstinate-teenager mode with the trotting (he knows how to trot on the rail, after all) to "I'm not really sure what you want me to do but I'm trying to figure it out!" mode with the bending. It was neat to see him try even if he didn't quite get what I wanted him to do yet.

After that, we had a few minutes left to walk around and Christina had me drop my stirrups and work on posting without them at the walk. Which, yes, you don't have to get all the way out of the saddle the way you do with stirrups but geesh, it still hurt! Ow.

All in all, though, Kieran was pretty good for a greenie. :) I'm planning on swinging up there this evening after work and before class to ride him a few minutes as I don't want a week to go by without him being ridden again and otherwise the soonest I could probably get up there is Monday. Though I guess I could technically do weekend nights after faire or something, if somebody could be in the barn then.


horsesandhounds said...

Uggg, stirupless work. I feel your pain!!

When I was still teaching lessons, I had my students do quite a bit of stirrupless work. When we had "Farm Fun Day", they convinced me to do a "teach the instructor" demo to show what they had learned. Some of the older kids got to show how to properly lunge a horse with me on and all of the kids participated in verbally teaching my lunge lesson. Those kids made me work on the lungeline for an hour; w/t/c, with stirrups, without stirrups, they got after me when my shoulders slumped or my heels popped up or I looked down. They were tough little instructors! I was so sore, I was surprised could walk afterwards! But I was so proud of them and how they corrected my riding position, explaining to the audience how each thing effected my riding and explaining the idea behind every excersize they put me through. It was a lot of fun even if it was a little painful.

I just realized you have a link to my old blog "Diary Of A Mad Horse Woman" that has since been taken down. The new blog is


Analise said...

Hey, thanks for the comment! I've fixed the blog link. :) I'm sure your kids enjoyed the payback. ;) Heck, I could probably do with a few lessons on the lunge myself. Though probably not on Kieran since he's so green, I wouldn't want him to get in the habit of doing what the person in the middle of the ring says instead of the person on his back.

horsesandhounds said...

Lunge lessons are great! When I can find someone to lunge a horse, I get some lunge work. It's good to just concentrate on me and not as much on what the horse is doing.