Critique warm-up of English mare after chiropractic adjustment (stretching attempt) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 06-14-2013, 10:58 PM Thread Starter
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Critique warm-up of English mare after chiropractic adjustment (stretching attempt)

Can you tell where she might have been sore before?

My reins were loose because, well, that's how we warm up, trying to give her room to stretch out, however this week she's been a hot tamale about estrus and all that jazz (you can see her trying to look over at her mare-friends off camera, lol), so she promptly said NOPE and would much rather try to trot whenever I gave a jiggle on the rein. We're calming down the regime, emphasizing more trot and more cross rails as per suggestion from the chiropractor. The chiro adjusted her thoracic vertebrae and checked her hind legs; amazing flexibility and strength in the left hind but, as I'd seen already, stiff in the right. The cross rails will thankfully keep her happy with the presumed boredom of trotting long distance.

No excuse for my far-apart feet, heheh... I thought I was relaxing my leg and really trying not to close my knee too much, apparently my calf didn't close either and my toes stuck out Also, now that I see it on video, I think I should've gathered up my reins a bit and cued from there, for a warm up with that attitude she shouldn't have so much slack rein. I also see that my upper body comes forward sometimes; I follow her a little too much and start leaning where she's going instead of being more of a driver than a passenger.

*She can't do much stopping and backing currently.
**Admittedly I think I've done too much work on trying to get her to do downward transitions, she has a short temper for the bit and thinks it means work, so her head comes up and she tries to speed for a second before slowing. I can only imagine the way to fix that is to just keep practicing change of pace and holding the pressure on her until she gives, ignoring the speeding and gross giraffe neck for that moment.
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post #2 of 3 Old 06-14-2013, 11:10 PM
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I can see that you are working on making changes little by little, and that's great. yeah, I see her concern about bit contact. you can work through that, as long as there is not physical reason, like sore mouth/teeth or not fitting bit. I kind of doubt that.

Even in this excersize, where you are asking her to stretch downward, and the reins can become quite long, still try to keep you thumbws on top and don't get braced and rigid in your elbows.. If she raises her head, follow it up, and ask her to give to the bit a little bit, with a bit of a tickle on the inside rein, and be careful to reward even her smallest try. when she starts to go downward, at first, give her more rein than necessary, so, yes the reins are looping and have no real contact. Butonce she starts reaching downward more on cue, little by little make her CARRY the bit downward and outward , with a bit of contact.
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post #3 of 3 Old 06-15-2013, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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I find that she's waiting for me to give up on the contact so she can stretch out without it--- my fault, I had a streak of doing that some months ago, that if she charged past my rein enough I would let her have some slack for the sake of slowing down without having to pressure her. I did a little experimenting this morning; I deliberately looked away from her head and toward where I planned on going strides in advance, and focused on controlling the contact and the pace. Screw the frame. I glanced back to her once every several minutes, it did look like she was starting to calm down, her head was still coming up too high sometimes but at the end she was beginning to keep her eye level to her wither.

If I give a short 'n sweet close of the fingers with a tad of pressure and think "down" with my pelvis, she stops on a dime, the idea is that if I do that lighter for a slower speed, she ignores, and if I keep my hands like that, she begins to speed. BUT, I only planned for a trot-walk session this morning so I sat it out and waited for her to slow, again disregarding the frame for that exercise too. Ha, it's hard to resist picking at her and myself xD It takes about 4-12 seconds for her to slow down. As long as she does slow down, I won't complain. I don't want to completely get rid of practicing an outline... so what do I do? I do it all right, at a halt I square her up and practice asking for her to lean backward with different positions of her head and neck. Barely any resistance there, much more responsive than in motion, so it's something!
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