Connemara's Weekly Horse Log

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Connemara's Weekly Horse Log

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    11-07-2008, 05:13 AM
Connemara's Weekly Horse Log

Hey everyone! This is my first entry to my weekly log where I will be writing about my horse journeys and reflecting on rides and my progress with my horse. I have a 9 year old standardbred mare called Galina which I bought about 2 months ago now - she is my first horse. She is a georgeous bay, 16hh of her. Together we mostly do dressage, and a little but of jumping, although that definitely isn't her forte.

Myself; well I'm a 15 year old girl in Australia and have been riding since I was 4. Hope you understand that I won't be sharing too many details about myself in this log, for obvious reasons in today's world.


Saw Galina yesterday, and got to go early as I had the day off school (got laryngitis and cannot talk at all - dang annoying I tell ya). While I was riding the new girl M (I'm going to use people's initials, for safety) was having a lesson on her chestnut horse. Can't remember his name. She seemed about my riding level, a but rusty though as she hadn't had a training lesson in 6 years. She seems really nice, and my age so hopefully will get to know her more once my voice comes back, as her horse will be living in the same paddock as Galina once he comes out of quarantine.

I think I have finally established a really good, strong, team bond with Galina now. I mean, I always loved her, but I finally feel like we are working together, in tune, and that I know how to "push her buttons". It's actually really exciting.

Did some sitting trot work with no stirrups on my ride - yowch that's painful with a trot as big as hers, but in some ways it's easier to ride, I guess I'm not so rigid, and I'm able to follow her movement more. I think I'll need to do some more work on that to get my muscle memory going and remembering how to sit more smoothly.


Well I don't want to make my first post too long and boring. Comments welcome. See you all next week (probably sooner - in fact I'll probably end up writing after every ride - so It'll be a 3 x a week post =P)

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    11-07-2008, 10:45 PM

Just got back about an hour ago from my traning lesson with Galina. Had a very very hard, very very hot, but very very good lesson I have now learnt how to get Galina to come onto the bit which is really satisfying, I've wondered if I would be learning that soon. So yeah, I finally feel I am going somewhere. L (my coach) said that when I ride Galina during the week I should either ride on a long rein, or ride with complete contact and roundness - nothing in between. That way Galina will learn that as soon as I pick up the reins, she has to come into a good frame.

It's a lot of hard work - harder than I expected, to keep her there and round. You can't just ask her once and then sit back and relax, you have to be alert all the time and never let her pull the reins from your hands, or go slack, unless you are giving her a break on the long rein of course.

I need to remember to keep my hands as quiet and still as possible, unless I am giving an aid, that way Galina can "hear me without all the excess noise" and she will respond better to my aids. Remember suppleness, impulsion, balance - then she should come round. If not, maintain flexion and bend, and half halt with the outside rein. I also need to practice keeping her round through transitions as well - that was going well in the lesson, but I'm sure it will be much harder by myself without L to give me pointers.

I don't know what I am going to work on tomorrow, I might continue my training, so that when L comes back from Equitana I will be improving a lot, or if I should give Galina a break and go for a trail ride down to the creek. Depends on how the weather is I suppose - hope it won't be so hot again like today.

Signing off.. tata
    11-09-2008, 10:01 PM
Had another ride yesterday afternoon, but was too tired to write after I got back.

Had a really really really really positive ride. Probably the best I have ever ridden her I did some work on getting her round and on the bit again, and got mum to help me count the paces when she was on the bit, so that I am learning how to feel for it. I can feel it for myself now, which for me is a big achievement because in the past when I have had her round, I couldn't even feel what she was doing!

So yeah I'm very proud of myself for being able to get her on the bit without L's help :mrgr een:

I was able to keep her round in the upwards transitions fairly easily, but I kept losing it for a few paces every time I did a downwards transition. I think it was because I was trying a bit too hard, and tensing up so that my centre of balance was screwed.

When I go during the week I'm going to warm her up by practising my roundness, and then I'm going to start practising my dressage test for the show coming up. I've learnt it by heart now, I just hae to ride it!

Can't wait to get back in the saddle again.
    11-10-2008, 05:48 PM
I've never properly learned how to get a horse on the bit. It makes sense, though, to ride either on the long rein or completely on the bit. That's so awesome that you're learning that on your own horse... it will bring your dressage to a whole new level!

Using initials for names is a good idea. I'll have to steal that for my own journal. XD
    11-11-2008, 08:06 AM
Originally Posted by Equuestriaan    
I've never properly learned how to get a horse on the bit. It makes sense, though, to ride either on the long rein or completely on the bit. That's so awesome that you're learning that on your own horse... it will bring your dressage to a whole new level!

Using initials for names is a good idea. I'll have to steal that for my own journal. XD

Thanks! Yeah it's really exciting to finally learn how to do it properly - and I've found that when on the bit, riding is soooo much easier - the horse is listening to you way more, and responds to other aids really well. I'll have to catch up with your journal - I haven't read since your first post.
    12-06-2008, 06:24 AM
Just realised I haven't updated my log in a while - an entry is surely due!

Had a lesson last week with L, and we did some more work on getting Galina rounded. I just needed some help holding her there, I mean, I can get her round for 20 strides or so, but then I lose it for a few before I get it back again. The best little tip she gave me was to pretend that instead of holding the 2 reins, I was holding the 2 bit rings. Somehow this little tip helped me feel the contact more through my fingers and be able to give clearer and more subtle aids. Must remember this tip!!

Since then I have ridden twice, once on Tuesday and again today. Both times have been really good, I think we're definitely improving! I have just been riding out in the paddock rather than the arena, most of the time the arena is busy anyway, but I find that she works fine out there once she's suitably warmed up.

She's started doing this reaaally wierd canter on the spot thing though. There's one point in the circle, that when I'm trotting on the left rein, she'll start doing this super wierd half trot half canter on the spot thing... it's soooo strange and it can't be that I'm giving her confusing aids, otherwise why would she keep doing it every time we reach a certain sopt in our circle. I was wondering if anyone had any pointers? It's actually quite distracting so if anyone has had this crop up before I'd much appreciate some input.

Will be riding again tomorrow morning, have work all afternoon/evening, so I will catch up with my log then, hopefully!


connemara93, galina, journal

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