Sunday, August 14, 2011


Had two good rides on Kieran this weekend. Yesterday was about a half an hour of walking and trotting around the ring, doing lots of up and down transitions and trotting over poles. I switched back to his old full cheek bit and he seemed to be more responsive to it so we may stick with that for a while. It could all be in my head, LOL.

I'm noticing a lot more too (and I think I've mentioned it before) that a lot of times, if I stop trying to micromanage where he's going, he tends to go straighter than if I'm trying to make him go straight, so I've been trying to just "think" straight but kind of leave him alone.

Also, yesterday, after the ride we did some various ground exercises. Carrot stretches, that sort of thing, but also work on understanding the cue for moving laterally since I've had so much trouble getting him to understand it from the saddle. (he goes backward, he kind of shuffles over, he tries going forward...he doesn't get "sideways") So I hooked the lead rope to his halter on the side away from me and ran it over his neck so I could use it like I would one of the reins and then poked him in the side at the same time as I applied pressure on the halter. When he moved over (crossing his legs over), I'd stop and give him a bit of carrot. Rinse, repeat on the other side.

So I noticed tonight when riding that if he started drifting, it didn't take quite so much effort to nudge him with my inside leg and keep him on the rail.

And then...well, our ride was mostly over, and it was getting dark, and I figured we could just kind of ride around outside of the ring to cool out. But I didn't want to get off and unchain the gate, I wanted to unchain it from his back. He knows about walking right up to the gate, but actually maneuvering him so I could get him properly alongside it has always been kind of dodgy. Not tonight! We walked up to it, I asked him to move so he was parallel to the gate, and he stepped right over. No fuss, no muss.

Now, getting him to stand still long enough for me to undo the chain was a different story, but each time I could get him right back where I wanted him (and finally I figured out how to use combination of reins, just two hands, crop [I see why foxhunters use a stick!], and chain to get the darn thing undone). I was so happy!

That and we cantered for the first time since the kicking out incident a couple weeks ago. Got a pretty decent canter both ways, all the way around the ring. No kicking out, no grumping just..."canter? Okay!".

My pony is so awesome. (and yes, I know I say that like every other post but it's TRUE)

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