Best Days with Sky! : Rediscovering Sky - Page 47 - The Horse Forum

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post #461 of 1209 Old 01-07-2014, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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So I've been riding Sky almost every day, but today was super special!

We rode with a whip... because homeboy has decided to ignore leg cues. He got quite the spanking when he ignored me and then began to respond to my feather light leg aids.

Man we were ROUND and THROUGH today. Woahhh it was awesome! We even got to cantering and what an improvement...

Such an improvement that I may just show him this spring in Intro A and B, possibly C.

I have a lesson tomorrow with someone I've only met twice... I'm trying out instructors but don't want anything too intense since I need to just.. get him w/t/c consistently.. but I KNOW there are things I need to work on.

So exciting!!!

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #462 of 1209 Old 01-07-2014, 09:02 PM
Green Broke
 
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Woot woot! (I feel bad that I keep losing track of your journal lol)

*snort* homeboy. Lol
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*Insert something witty*
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post #463 of 1209 Old 01-07-2014, 09:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Roperchick View Post
Woot woot! (I feel bad that I keep losing track of your journal lol)

*snort* homeboy. Lol
It's not a problem :) Everyone is super busy, it's all good

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #464 of 1209 Old 01-13-2014, 01:45 PM Thread Starter
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I've been not feeling like writing a novel lately so now to catch you all up on what's been going on.

Had our first lesson, and it was awesome. We focused on forward and straight. My horse has a bad habit of dropping or sliding his shoulders around without being asked... and working like a snail. Without even worrying about his head, he rounded through the back and stepped forward with vigor. It was very awesome!!! We re-learned leg yields and shoulder fore, which we are supposed to have been working on this week... yeah... not so much.

The day AFTER the lesson, I gave him off. The following day, he was back to ignoring me even with the whip there. I had to give him a few good smackaroos to get him responding. We haven't cantered since my lesson. I don't want to canter him when he's flat out ignoring me. That puts everyone I'm sharing the arena with at risk. It's not responsible.

So until he starts listening again, cantering is on hold. We have been working on snappy transitions and changing HOW I ask for trot (with a seat aid) and he's responding much better than just closing my legs and 'chasing' him into it (rudimentary)

My position is less archy and perchy, but I'm still not there yet. My leg, however, has become so quiet and secure surprisingly enough!

I'm focusing on keeping knees off the saddle (I don't pinch but they do like to get a bit tight) and keeping calves ON at all times, but not squeezing at all times.

I'm trying to re-establish leg yielding cues VS move this hind leg forward cues.

So basically we are re-shaping our riding basics, to make them a little more involved.

I noticed that if I brace my lower back and simply put a wall up, my horse halts better. It still SUCKS (6-8 strides of snail walk before he halts) but the other day we got to 4 strides of snail walk... so it's an improvement. Albeit a still sucky outcome.

I need to stop taking the reins away.. I'm used to them being above the pommel but my instructor wants them above or infront of the wither, which means I needed to figure out how to bend my elbows but still have my hands there... it was challenging and I'm still working it out.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #465 of 1209 Old 01-13-2014, 01:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post

I'm focusing on keeping knees off the saddle (I don't pinch but they do like to get a bit tight) and keeping calves ON at all times, but not squeezing at all times.
I have the hardest time with that, too. It seems impossible to keep my calves ON continously. I have noticed however that it's easier when I ride smaller/narrower horses.
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post #466 of 1209 Old 01-13-2014, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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I have the hardest time with that, too. It seems impossible to keep my calves ON continously. I have noticed however that it's easier when I ride smaller/narrower horses.
Right? For me it feels like I'm trying to juggle plates on a inflated ball... but slowly I'm becoming more and more aware of what each body part is doing. Especially my knees!

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #467 of 1209 Old 01-13-2014, 03:52 PM
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How much arena riding are you doing? His balkiness may be related to what he feels is boring.
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post #468 of 1209 Old 01-13-2014, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
How much arena riding are you doing? His balkiness may be related to what he feels is boring.
We have been in the arena three times this week. Went on a trail ride yesterday (he was sludge) and he had Thursday off... only put blankets on Sunday because it was yucky. Monday I didn't go out at all.

He's apparently been like this since I last visited him. He's been ignoring leg and being very... low key. It's getting a little concerning since this isn't how he used to be at all. I don't think it's his diet.. he's actually a smidge overweight, hooves appear healthy aside from thrush and other things in a different thread. Coat is shiny. Mane and tail growing.

He's just lazy... the instructors working with him (prior to my arrival) had to use spurs. I'm having to spank him with the whip (which DOES get a positive response) when he flat out ignores me.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #469 of 1209 Old 01-16-2014, 12:11 PM Thread Starter
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Aha! Yesterday was an eye opening, things-clicking-in-place day.

We learned how to go forward, properly

Did ya'll know that there is a correct/effective way to use a whip? No one had bothered to teach me until this instructor! This method truly helped Sky to learn to move off of my leg. I learned to stop nagging him!

We also learned how to deal with his bowing out and dropping shoulders (moving sideways so quickly you can hardly keep up) issues. THANK the LORD. That issue was the one that made me batty and cranky.. because no matter how much I beat him with my outside leg (after asking nicely, then using the whip) he would continue to do it. The fact he'd nearly hit the wall didn't phase him.

So apparently your hands don't have to be frozen in place, with elbows moving.. they can move to help with the shoulders.

I didn't understand that.

Apparently half halts can be a LOT stronger if needed without the horse falling apart.

I didn't know that.

Apparently my horse can lengthen his stride and step under himself and NOT drag his feet.

I couldn't believe that!

Apparently my horse thinks he can avoid picking up the correct lead to the right because it's harder for him by going into the wrong-lead canter when HE wanted to (without me asking AT ALL) and then throw his head to snatch the reins.

I don't think so.

So all of these things, that have been sleeping dragons since I first taught him canter back in Maryland in 2011... have resurfaced AFTER we got him moving off of my leg and fixed the ignoring my aids issue.

So that was awesome!

I have video.. I need more work still, especially my posting (talk about pushing my tummy out.....yikes) but it's getting there slowly!

And yes, my horse is very out of shape and a fatty. Like he was over 1300lbs before I taped him (he's now 1288 lbs but it's 90% FAT I tell ya!)


Sky's more-flexible side

Sky's stiffer side

I'm pretty darn sore and tired today, so giving him the day off.

Here's our album of riding photos too!

http://s339.photobucket.com/user/Muz...?sort=3&page=1

Disclaimer: Keep in mind this is our 2nd lesson with this fabulous trainer. I don't ride Sky every day, and Sky is really not in shape at all. Also I'm not in very good shape either. This is pretty new to me, and Sky's fail safe is to brace.
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"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"

Last edited by Skyseternalangel; 01-16-2014 at 12:16 PM.
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post #470 of 1209 Old 01-16-2014, 01:08 PM
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Nice. Thanks for sharing. No wonder you are tired - you had to work so hard to get him moving.
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