Thursday, November 25, 2010

On our Way to Bridleless Riding!

You can view the full size by clicking the link below.

Got out of work early yesterday and headed to the barn (where else?).  It was a typical cold windy November day in the Northeast so I decided to play with G in the indoor arena rather than deal with the biting wind.  

I ordered the Liberty Ring from Linda Telllington Jones (TTouch Training) a few weeks back and finally got a chance to play with it.  What fun!  I think it went well for our first attempt though if I had a do-over, I wouldn't have done it while the horses were coming in from the pastures for dinner.  G is all about food and he knows when its time for his dinner.  I thought letting him have a little hay before we played would apease him, but not.  Each time we headed toward the south doors (camera end) he would get a little braced and his whoa wasn't as good as stopping away from the door. 

I had to edit 19 minutes from the video for YouTube, but alot was repetitive anyway, so excuse the cuts.  I'm just getting familiar with iMovie.  Watching the video was so helpful as he reaffirmed certain things I felt as I was riding, but once you see it in print there's no denying it, lol.  Part of the reason I decided to get the Liberty Ring was so I could start to really concentrate on my seat and leg aids, as I felt like I depended on going to the reins too much.  Kind of like peeking at the keys when you type.  Until you let go, you can't feel it.  G proved to me that he isn't listening to my seat as well as I thought; nor am I controlling his speed with my seat like I should be.  

What I am thrilled with is my balance.  It really felt good to canter without contact!  Sure he could've been collected had I been using reins, but the feeling of freedom was wonderful.  I'm sure he enjoyed it as well.   Without reins he tended to pace, which didn't surprise me.  But he seemed fairly relaxed, as long as we were headed away from the "out" arena door lol.  When I took up the reins, I was able to take enough contact so he came into a more neutral frame and smoothed out his gait.  BUT his head was up more than I like to see.  Had I been using the new Robart bit that he likes so much it may have looked a little different, but I snagged the snaffle.  Maybe the next session.  

So my goals are to learn to control his speed and whoa by seat alone; and to learn how to get him to round up a bit for a smooth running walk rather than the stepping pace.  

Would love comments and input, especially those who do bridleless riding!