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post #11 of 14 Old 03-14-2011, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3,823
• Horses: 3
Thanks, Tiny. I'll see if I can't answer some of your questions at this moment. I don't own her, I'm just in charge of her training, I'm a 4H rider.

She's not tense on the lunge line, not that I can see any way. There's no head tossing, it's just as soon as she gets trotting she brings her head up and sticks her nose out. As for the sitting trot, I can try, but it's extremely hard for me to find her rhythm (before I started riding her I could sit the trot for extended periods of time, in fact I practiced it). She doesn't have the smoothest trot in the world, and when I sit the trot she hollows her back more. So it could she could need to have her back looked at, I'll look at the saddle the next time I'm out there. What should I look for with saddle fitting? I have an idea but would like to know for sure.

I'll get the video as soon as possible. I had one made up but the camera somehow lost it...isn't technology great?

"And somewhere in the northwoods darkness a creature walks upright. And the best advice you may ever get is: Don't go out at night..."
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post #12 of 14 Old 04-17-2011, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3,823
• Horses: 3

I headed to the barn to work with Razz and hopefully get a riding lesson, but my RI had just left the barn and didn't know when she'd be back so I went ahead and worked Razz without her. My focus today was to get her to relax more under saddle and for me to keep my heels down the entire time I was riding. She was an angel for me, but that might have had something to do with the fact that I lunged her before I rode her. The last time I rode her (I didn't blog that one) I spent the entire lesson trying to get her to relax and walk calmly around the ring for one circuit. It could've been the weather that made her so high strung but she was spooking at every little thing, even if it had been sitting in the arena all year. I wasn't able to get her to walk through one corner, apparently there was something so scary in it that she had to buck and bolt away from it. Anyway, she only spooked once and other than that she did what I wanted her to, except relax at the trot. I don't understand it, am I too tense at the trot? Does she have some problem with trotting with a rider on her back? I'm not sure and it's confusing me. I actually watched her trot on the lungeline, she started out tense but soon relaxed. Maybe the saddle doesn't fit, I don't know or understand.

We seem to have gotten our rhythm back, I'm going to assume that it's because we were able to use the entire arena and not just a small part of it. She started the workout with a nice low head position and seemed ready to do what I asked. It appears that I managed to solve her moving away when mounting issue, although I'm still going to ask people to hold her head while I get on just in case. I think her problem was that she doesn't like the reins to be held while I get on because she associates the reins being held with work so she wouldn't wait until I got settled in because I was telling her it's work time. After spending all those long boring times working with her at standing still and me not poking her side when I get on are paying off, I hope this keeps long as I don't mess it up again. All the times I've gotten on her when I'm not holding the reins she's been fine with standing still (I probably just jinxed my work, great).

I also worked a different horse while I was out there. I worked one of my most favorite horses (at least of those still living), Peach. Yes, I'm a little big for her, but she's stocky and didn't seem to mind. Working other horses is good for me, it makes me focus on my overall equitation on a horse that rides differently than Razz. Peach is a little ball of energy, which is what makes her so much fun. You constantly have to be focused on her because she likes to go, and go fast. Once I managed to kepp her walking at a steady, easy going pace I let her gait. She's a gaited Morgan, one of the reasons I love to ride her is because of her gait. Once she's in a faster pace she settles down even more. Sometimes it feels like she wants to break gait into a canter, but a half halt will easily take care of that idea. As I'm riding her and focusing on sitting her gait, I'm thinking, "It's no wonder Champ (Peach's only son) is so energetic and a handful, if anyone ever wondered they should ride his mom." Peach has had another colt that I'm aware of but he was a month overdue and ended up stillborn. Anyway, it felt great to ride her again, sometimes you just have to give in to nastalgia.

PS-Can anyone tell me how to check how well a saddle fits?

"And somewhere in the northwoods darkness a creature walks upright. And the best advice you may ever get is: Don't go out at night..."
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post #13 of 14 Old 08-01-2011, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3,823
• Horses: 3
It's obviously been a long time since I've posted here, but a long series of events made it hard for me to keep up with what has been going on wih Razz's training. I'm still working with her on relaxing under saddle.

If I'm a little vague on details for our last session it's because my friend left for boot camp a month early, he left today. I'm still a little in shock.

Fair has just ended. It was a great week for both Razz and I. We didn't place very high, but Razz has taught me that it's not hte ribbons that count it's the teamwork and how well you and your horse do. She was an angel for saddle seat. Even trotting she seemed more comfortable, but not by much. We did great in Pleasure, there wasn't a single blow-up and she didn't fight me once. Sadly though, she still tries to put herself behind the vertical at the walk, and I'm working on fixing that. In Equitation there was a pattern, something that she's not very good at due to 1) her lack of finer training and 2) her size. Amazingly though, we aced the pattern. She did everything I asked her to without a fuss. In the line-up one of the other Level 4 girls said to me, "Wow, you guys did great. I remember when she was half wild."

Hunt seat didn't go great, but I can't complain, she did everything I asked of her without much fuss. She seemed a little stiff, which concerned me. So I asked someone watching the class to watch her to see if she was limping. I coudn't tell. The person said that she seemed stiff but she wasn't limping. I decided to show her in the Equitation class. She seemed fine then. I know that when she sits in a stall she sometimes stocks up and gets stiff so I put more sawdust in her stall. I know that many people won't see me using a curbed kimberwicke as a good thing, but the fact is, before I couldn't even use a curbed kimberwicke on her. For hunt I had to use a double bridle. So maybe you won't see an improvement, but I sure do. Someday I really hope that I can show her in a snaffle. I'm going to keep working towards it.

I volunteered to be ring steward for the Western classes, where I quickly found out that I would not be able to be a judge. I have to little focus for it currently. Although I did manage to correctly place the first place winner in a Level 3 bareback class, the person I picked for second got third though. I also learned that I really appreciate those horses who can back through the "L" on a trail course.

So overall, it was a good Fair, especially because I don't think I'll be able to finish out my remaining two years in 4H. I got a large amount of compliments on my work with Razz, and was bragged about to the judge by one of the Fair board members. This person was more than happy to tell him about all the good work and progress I've made with Razz int he last two years. It made me uncomfortable, but it felt good.

"And somewhere in the northwoods darkness a creature walks upright. And the best advice you may ever get is: Don't go out at night..."
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post #14 of 14 Old 08-07-2011, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3,823
• Horses: 3
This is none training related but I finally found Razz's dad! Yes!!

"And somewhere in the northwoods darkness a creature walks upright. And the best advice you may ever get is: Don't go out at night..."
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