May photo updates!
We are past the 3 month period and I feel Nala and I have adjusted to each other. She tends to get upset when high energy things are happening around and she is not given time to adjust and/or I think when she is sore either from working with too much collection too soon, running around in the field, or working in deep sand (when the sand dries out around here all of a sudden it feels deep).
Today we worked in the round pen on half halts, change of direction, collection and slowing the trot. She did wonderfully until the end, I took a few minutes to stop and talk and when we went back to work she was done. I perceive she got tired (from the transitions and collection) and she was likely impatient for dinner. She did not do anything BAD but I caught her gathering energy and tossing her head (the precursor to her “airs above ground”).
Quite a few people ask why I am still schooling in the round pen and not the bigger arena. There are a number of reasons: I find it easier to be light in the bridle and teach her to listen to my seat in a smaller area, I find the footing better and I find I do not have to work to contain her energy, also since we do join-up in the round pen her energy level is relaxed and she is accustomed to the space allowing her to listen to me much better. I would love to have a larger space to work on the canter but our arena footing is not great yet, so I am still schooling canter on the beach with a large flat area.
Progress pics: First two days of March (left)vs Early May:
6/3/15 Pics from the pasture…
Beach ride #8: We went out with little Amore the Arab. Nala and her move at a similar rate and we did some trotting out and cantering slow.
On the way back we went up the dune and I lost track of my dog. I had to circle back and call for him. Nala was not happy to have to traverse the dune edge again and she got hoppy.
The other horse came back with us and we walked the top of the dune. We happened upon a huge bald eagle. It flew up and away about 6 feet from the horses heads. Both horses shied away and since I was looking for the dog, not preparing to hang on for the spook I tumbled off (tumble off #4 if you are counting).
Landing in the dune I was fine. I got back on and we continued. I can’t really blame her as the bird was large and close!
6/4/15 no new pics
Went on beach ride #9 with Halla. Halla likes to jig and Nala seems to focus more on her that her surroundings, which actually leads to Nala acting like a steady eddy. She walked out nice on a loose rein. Trotted out nice and came back just fine. She did not get antsy when Halla tried to canter. She even wanted to walk in the wet sand near the waves. All in all it was a nice ride!
On the way out, We were followed or chased by a lone female elk. We yelled at it and waved to dissuade the elk. The horses were not scared at all but it made us people a bit nervous!
NOTES ON MY CURRENT INSPIRATION:
Working on Some tips from: Carl Hester
Transitions – the key to getting the horse on the aids.
Come back, ride forward, repeatedly.
They do NO sitting trot on the young horses. Charlotte worked a horse in leg-yield (at a pretty significant angle, a great cross-over) in rising.
So the horse hasn’t got to carry you as well as learn something.
Stay rising to build strength in the back.
Stretching is important, both physically and mentally.
Teaching Flying Changes:
Get the canter nice & small and bouncy.
Do it changing the rein at first (so the horse expects the change of leg).
Condense the canter.
Not going for a 10 at first.
Little little canter.
Then do on long side for straightness.
Collected trot should feel like a contained med trot.
1 year is not a long time in training terms.
The horses are all worked 4 days a week only.
Out every day. Some, like Nip Tuck, live out.
All work should be able to be done in a snaffle.
Double bridle is not an instrument to get the horse’s head down!
If there is not enough impulsion in canter – the head & neck get ‘noddy’.
Lots of Transitions within pace as well as different paces.
Hot horses don’t get mentally tired but do get physically tired which makes them more difficult.
1/2 pass, keep swinging. Slowing down loses swing.
There are times when you must NOT ride forward.
E.g. When the horse feels heavy, strong, unbalanced.
Bend. Correct amount – see inside eye.
Wait till all neck & back muscles are moving.
Carl imagines there’s a plait just behind the ears, highest point.
1/2 halt – lasts for a stride.
Take it, touch it, release it, forward again.
Leg yield in canter – stretch hindleg.
Make canter bigger.
Looser rein, looser hand, with horse like this (hot) – Carl rode his 11 year old GP horse Nip Tuck.
The difficult thing is to get on a horse and steer it without hanging on.
Contact gets lighter as horse goes up the levels.
credit for these tips to : http://e-venting.co.uk/2015/05/a-morning-at-carl-hesters-yard-and-lots-of-top-tips-from-the-maestro-himself/
Checking on our bits and they look fine…
FEI: A. PERMITTED SNAFFLES* (Bits pictured and described below are required for all tests and classes at Second Level and below and optional in Third and Fourth Level Tests.) 1. Ordinary snaffle with single – jointed mouthpiece. 2. (a, b, c) Double-jointed snaffles. 3. Racing snaffle (D-ring). 4. Snaffle. a) with cheeks, with or without keepers. b) without cheeks (Egg-butt). 5. Snaffle with upper or lower cheeks. 6. Unjointed snaffle (Mullen – mouth). 7. Snaffle with cheeks. (Hanging or drop cheek; Baucher). This may be a D-ring or other ordinary snaffle as pictured in Nos. 1-6. 8. Fulmer. 9. French snaffle. 10. Snaffle with rotating mouthpiece. 11. Snaffle with rotating middle piece. 12. Happy Mouth with roller.
From page 40 of https://www.usef.org/documents/ruleBook/2015/08-DR.pdf