Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Things we discussed in the lesson:

1. I am, apparently, crooked. I find it easier to use my right leg and seatbone than my left leg and seatbone. I also sit skewed (I've noticed, now that I've been thinking about it, that I do it when sitting in chairs too). This likely helps explain some of the issues I've had with Kieran. Like cantering to the right is easier because I can use my right leg to keep him from drifting inward but going the other way is more trouble. Or how when we attempt sidepassing or turns on the forehand, it's easier when I ask him to go left because I'm using my right leg to do it, and vice versa.

2. We can actually trot (and canter!) around on a loooooose rein and not have him drift all the way inward. It just takes a lot of leg and me opening the outside rein (maybe a lot, now but still) instead of pulling back on it. And, for now, maybe tapping his inside shoulder (seriously, I was just tapping lightly, not smacking) with the whip to back up my leg. When I pull back with the rein (which is what I want to do because it's become habit even though I know it's wrong), he just sticks his nose to the outside, bulges his shoulder in, and keeps going wherever he wants. You know this, I know this. I've talked about it dozens of times, it seems. But tonight we were actually able to consistently go around at all gaits more or less straight and without too much cutting into the center (was it perfect? Nah, but it was a far sight better than before).

3. Really, basically everything we're doing is about getting me to better control my body and, in extension, better control Kieran's body so I'm not just trying to haul him around with the reins. If Jessica had her way, by the end of this, we won't need reins at all. ;) That'd be pretty cool.

Annd....no pictures from tonight, but here's a couple from our previous lesson on Saturday (was a makeup) that I didn't write about but should have while it was still fresh in my mind:

Look how he's crossing over on that turn!

We started out the lesson trotting figure eights around two barrels to get his brain on working since it'd been over a week since he'd last worked. We ended the lesson cantering in up the rail coming around between the barrels, going down to a trot, starting to turn around the other barrel (half a figure eight?) and cantering off on the other lead. :)

There was also a nice bit of trail riding that happened this weekend. Got to expose Kieran to all sorts of things: small children running up to pet the pretty ponies (*sigh*), small children on bicycles, a wildly barking herd of seven dogs (behind a fence), surveyor's tape blowin' in the wind, large (unmoving, turned off) construction equipment...all sorts of stuff. We even discovered a trail that has a bit of a slope and that we can probably use even during hunting season so we can get some work on not-flat-ground in. :)

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