Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lesson on Saturday

Yeah, I know I said dressage lessons were being put on permanent hold for awhile....but I definitely need to have a little structure brought into my sessions with G some days. I've been talking to Debbie on and off since our clinic with Mark Rashid, and she has been a really good sounding board. So the last time I saw her I set up a date.

What a great lesson. It was great for Debbie to see how far we've progressed since our last lesson with her, and she said it was obvious that I've still been working our shoulder fore, shoulder in and leg yields. G was being very responsive and happy with contact and the Rockin S Raised snaffle....woohoo. Debbie also gave me a pat on the back for searching until I found what was right for G. That made me feel good.

It was really really cold - 27 degrees. I generally don't ride when it's under 32 degrees, but now that I have a quarter sheet for G as long as he was warm I wasn't too worried. So we spent the first half of the lesson working 15 meter circles; shoulder fore and in; then leg yields in both directions; and then leg yielding to the left 3-4 strides, going straight for 3 and then to the right fo 3-4 strides. G was very responsive and I'm getting better with my half halts to shorten his stride while maintaining impulsion.

On to canter work. Debbie said that G has gotten stronger since she last worked with him and she was happy to see that my timing in the half halts had improved. So now its time to start to really collect the canter. First we needed an immediate response to my it. Second she wanted to see more lift in the transition...we got it; and then she worked with us on using the half halts to shorten the stride while still maintaining forward motion and lift. The first 20 meter circle was okay, but with each attempt it got better and better. G maintained his "cool" throughout the entire lesson. It was a pleasure to ride such a responsive and much softer horse yesterday. I felt like we made real progress in collecting the canter, and maintaining impulsion.

I've decided I'm going to take a lesson a month through the winter, as I do find the time spent is more focused and productive. Hopefully I can get some video as being able to watch yourself ride is a lesson all onto itself.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Whole Heart, Whole Horse

This is the book I ordered from Mark at Equine Affaire ~ it came in yesterday and I can't wait to get started reading! Of course with the holidays looming I'm crazy busy but I will find time soon to curl up and indulge myself. It's my first Mark Rashid hardcover and had him sign it: To "G", he who holds Kate's Heart. I thought it was appropriate ;)

From his website: The book covers subjects such as seeing the positive side of making mistakes, how to gather information from the horse, understanding how and why horses release energy from real or perceived traumas, how to reach the balance point between the horse and rider, the five components to developing softness in both horses and humans, the three components to becoming a leader the horse wants to willingly follow and work with, how to understand and develop boundaries, and more.

Such a perfect topic for me & G ~ Becoming the leader my horse wants to willingly follow and work with. After seeing how much has already changed by using his pick up at the mounting block, I'm sure there are a lot more arrows for my quiver!

Would make a really nice Christmas gift for the horselover in your family.