Week 3

This stunning 6 year old sorrel 14.1 hand mare was rescued from the feedlot in May 2006. She has been started under saddle and is available for adoption to the perfect home.

Week 3

Postby myhorsefaith on Tue Aug 21, 2007 8:02 pm

Back to work!!! Class went back to school today :lol: The mini-vacation has done her well, she's totally fine! :D *knock on wood*

However, in all her time off, she seemed to remember her pony-ness and that bit of Class came out to play today :lol: She didn't do anything bad, but she decided to really ask if I truly am the boss in our little herd. And I said yes. :roll: :lol:

We did walk, trot, transitions and circles. No canter, the arena was too sloppy for my taste. She doesnt have enough balance yet to risk it, and i'm a big weenie. :?
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Postby Jen Smith on Tue Aug 21, 2007 9:26 pm

Way to go Alley. I think it's really cool that you are putting such a great start on this girl. You are doing her a great justice.

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Postby myhorsefaith on Thu Aug 23, 2007 8:16 pm

Thursday: I am so proud of Class today! We got a late start this evening...by the time we were ready to ride the PM feeders were there, and they decided to leave the horses out since its is warm out and would be too hot in the barn. I thought it would be an interesting ride, expecting Class to be distracted by wheelbarrows full of hay and grain and her herd mates going ga-ga over it.

But she surprised me! She was totally focused and a very good girl. We rode for about 45 minutes- nice and soft and quiet. I cut my hand yesterday- and even though it was bandaged, it was pretty painful and getting more so as my hand sweat under the bandage :cry: , so i took it easy. youch!!!

Her trot was really nice today, too. before trotting we worked on walk/halt transitions, so by the time we got to trot, she was much more balanced and her trot spoke for itself. I didn't feel like she was trying to run through or catch her balance by trotting faster. I felt like she had much better balance, and it was a much easier ride, LOL.

She's also soft enough that she will trot almost at the mere thought of it. I love the lightness! :)

For anyone interested, I rode her in a wintec english saddle today- the cheapie wintec 500. I had the wide gullet in it, and it fit pretty darn good! probably would go one gullet wider, as she becomes more fit she'll probably need it.
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Postby cat_67 on Sat Aug 25, 2007 11:16 am

I have been riding the 3 y.o. I'm working with in one of those saddles and I love it. It's a great greenie saddle - your butt sticks like glue, you feel totally secure. Mine is also roly poly and it fits well.
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Postby myhorsefaith on Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:25 pm

Friday: introduction to the idea of "circle" :lol: I'm getting ready to pick up a bit more contact on Class and want her to be soft to it. We're also ready to work on something other than "forward" and so introduction to the leg aid meaning BEND...so today we began serious circle work, figure 8's and serpentines. It was a rough ride for me, but livable! :lol:

Saturday: review of circle work, bending, figure 8's and going across the diagonal...straight. :lol: She was so much better today, it was fantastic. her hiney followed and her shoulder didn't go out the back door. How nice! I still felt like i was riding a bit of a wet macaroni noodle, but not nearly as bad as yesterday. I also threw in the "back up" hehehe, which Class was very weirded ou by but got it within a few tries. Her motto is "if i don't get it, blow through it" :lol: :roll: But she did well and soon we had nice soft backups. Now to get those straight. :shock:

We also worked on canter more today. By the end of the week I want to have the cue to canter installed. Right now she sort of falls into it- so we did more of that today.

Tomorrow I'll work with her again, see what kind of pony I get! :D
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Postby myhorsefaith on Sat Aug 25, 2007 7:40 pm

I do love working in that wintec- you are right about the stick factor! Class can be a little noodle-y from time to time, so i definitely appreciate a balanced, deep saddle...LOL. The one thing i would change about it is the stirrup bar placement. i keep feeling like my legs are being pulled forward. bars placed a touch further back would solve that!

Oooo one of these days you'll have to try my HM hip saver. its made out of memory foam and straps on to the saddle seat- much like the zillion seat savers out there. but this one gives more of a twist (or waist) to the saddle- which helps me and my sore hips.

It is sooooo incredibly comfy and makes even the hardest saddles simply luxurious! gotta love that! 8)
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Postby cat_67 on Mon Aug 27, 2007 2:31 pm

That does sound good!

The only thing I don't like about the Wintec is that I'm trying to retrain myself to ride short (hunter/jumper length) and it's not really built for that so my knees go past the flaps when my stirrups are "proper" length.
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Postby myhorsefaith on Wed Aug 29, 2007 5:46 am

Tuesday: Now that Class can longe decently, I decided I wanted to start teaching her a little about contact without it being a huge deal. Ideally I would do this a little later in the training- but our days are dwindling and she is showing signs of being ready. And because I like to do these thingss on the ground first- that is where we started today.

I went back to the sensation treeless. Class is a little down-hill, and as much as the wintec fit, I was too fidgety in it. So i went back to the Sensation. I found a double jointed snaffle in my collection, and the last few days i've been using that, in my cob-sized bridle.

So with her all tacked up, we went to the arena to re-visit longeing. I haven't really done much with her on this in the past few days, so I was interested in seeing how she did. In between spurts of circling, I'd also ask her at the halt to put her head down via the reins, or to give a little flexion either to the left or right. All of that was very good.

The next step was to rig up the vienna reins. i put them on as loose as possible, and started walking with her, next to her shoulder. She seemed pretty sleepy, and i knew the moment i asked her to move on the circle it would be a rude awakening. So as we walked i started to slip back a bit more, to the point that she was pretty much walking around in a circle and i was sort of following her.

The walk was no problem at all. Class is very relaxed at the walk. The trot, however, she can be unbalanced (even without a rider), and in turn, likes to race around. After a bit we decided to move to the trot, and that is where the reins asked her to keep her front end relaxed and Class didn't exactly like that at first. She wanted to put her head up, and wanted to race, but couldnt put her head up as much as she wanted. So now forward was a problem...and upward became her new choice. She was just testing her options, and she never went far up, I just kept an even keel and kept showing her the right choice: forward. Eventually she took it. A couple more times this happened, and finally, she was OK.

During this whole time i was questioning whether or not i chose the right training plan for her today- but by the end of it, i was glad we did do this, and glad to stick it through.

From there I went on to ride- and oh gosh I love that sensation pad. Class seemed to like it too. She was very willing with her body, and less bracy overall. her trot was not rushed. We were able to do some lateral movements, and phenomenal stops, back ups. And then canter work. I really worked on the canter transition, and I think she'll have it by Thursday :)
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Postby Altanera on Wed Aug 29, 2007 8:41 am

Just a suggestion but when I do side reins or vienna reins for the first time I like to attach one side first and let the horse get use to it then attach the other side. I also use my super strech long side reins, so when they are loose they just bounce and flap around but get them use to some movement on the bit then slowly I take them up notches until they are in constant contact with the bit. It seems to work well that way. O and I always have them lunging in side reins before I even get on, but thats just my method. That way they know what pressure on the bit feels like and the first time I have to pull back they are not in shock of what the bit is doing. Now on young horse I never make them super tight like make them work in a frame, but tight enough for constant pressure on the bit if there head is in the air but if it is in a little frame then they have no pressure. I do not like the vienna reins for the first time I even put something constricting on them as mine at least do not have an elastic, so its mor restrictive even when loose.
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Postby cat_67 on Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:23 am

Yeah, I do like elastic insert side reins as well...they are more like your hands will be, they give and take. That's what I use.

Class is so cool. You will have to start her over fences when she's ready, Ally - I can totally see her heading for the pony hunter life, like Connor.
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Postby myhorsefaith on Wed Aug 29, 2007 9:36 am

I like the elastic ones for some horses, the solids for others, the ones with donuts in the middle for others yet- All depends on the horse and their situation. For Class, I chose the Vienna rein.

The vienna rein the answer is very very clear. And because they are horse-sized and not pony sized, they gave Class a TON of room. She could still put her head up close to normal range and the force of putting her head down was very minimal. It was for her to get the idea to stretch down, out, not up. The side reins, in my opinion, even loose wouldn't be as clear- and being stretchy are definitely not as clear as she needs. I've seen the Class type of horse not really learn much from them and continue to pull on them zooming around in circles.

Class has the additional challenge of longeing- it is a very hard exercise for her that take a lot of care from the handler. She's come very far in this- but with longeing and all elements of it there has to be a very very clear answer- otherwise she gets very confuse and will resist as a whole to longeing. The introduction to the vienna rein does not allow for much ambiguity- and being very loosely set, she is still within the lower range of where she normally keeps her head.

Who knows, in a few sessions she may graduate to the other side reins- i'll have to see how she develops. I rarely stick with 1 tool for an entire training course. I use what i feel the horse needs at the time- within reason. Thus having waaaaaaaay too many things in my storage closet, :lol:

Now I have another TB in training here and I'd not use the vienna reins on him- and I WOULD go for the elastics right away. hes got a tendency to force himself into a fake frame. Loose side reins can help him with that where the vienna's would reinforce what he's been taught. So it'll be a different road for him, and we'll see where he goes.

Cat- I dont know if we're going to be able to jump Class- she's a bit crooked in the front (pidgeon toe ish), and her range of motion in her knees isn't great. Dr Hannah never said we couldnt, but I'm not sure that would be the best route. Perhaps lower level stuff- toting a light kid every now and again would be OK...but I dont know.
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Postby cat_67 on Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:22 am

Ah, I didn't know that about her. Well, the 18" stuff isn't going to lame up most of them...and there is a whole market just for that. But she could do a lot of other things, too. She is a very cute mare.
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Postby myhorsefaith on Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:31 am

time will definitely tell- i dont think she's so bad that she couldnt/shouldn't. 18" isn't that high- you are right. i just dont know how much her body will be able to withstand, esp over time.

She sure would be cute though doing those little courses though!!!! :)
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Postby Altanera on Wed Aug 29, 2007 6:34 pm

Ah I see and understand what you mean by using the vienna reins. I have a homemade thingy I use if I want to encourage them to put their head down if they like to have it in the air all the time.

how piegon toed is she?
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Postby myhorsefaith on Wed Aug 29, 2007 6:58 pm

I should take a picture of her legs- in fact i will try to remember to do so tomorrow.

And i just realized i've been posting on the wrong week this entire time. duh, i'm such a dork! LOL :lol:
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