My journal for starting Daisy - coming 4 hear old, had 4 months under saddle last spring then turned out by previous owner. She is very green. I ride with my girl friend Michael, we show together and she told me her friend Donna just went pro so we each took a lesson today - I rode first, then Michael. We were out there for 4 hours, and Daisy did really good. This journal will help me keep track of what I am supposed to be doing each week - I will be going to Donna's every Saturday until further notice...
Took Daisy to Donna's for my first lesson with her. This was Daisy and I's third ride, she has been home for 2 weeks now, but temps under 20 degrees all but a few days, so she has just been hanging out. Today was about 35 degrees, slightly windy - it was fine as long as I was moving, but got cold when standing around.
Started with having to battle Daisy to get in the trailer, she ended up having to get popped with a whip to get her butt in... took about 10 minutes.
Got to Donna's house and lunged her to get the fresh out, then hopped on and watched another girl, Karen, 's lesson for about 20 minutes. Then Donna had me trot with my arms really wide out, and down by my knees - my arms were burning in no time... I needed to keep her neck straight and ask for the give at the wither and make sure to push back from the saddle horn while I ride, bumping as necessary to make sure she gets the lift and impulsion from her back end. Daisy breaks the trot alot at this point. Lots of clucking and bumping.
Then we worked on circling tight, for a turn to the right I pull my right arm out high and wide, and get her to give her face by my knee... push her out with my right leg and support with my left rein and leg so she doesn't fall out of the circle... when she relaxes and softens, let her straighten back out - hold her face with wide, low reins and softly cluck/bump her into a trot, making sure to push back from the saddle horn with my hips and pelvis and bump for lift... she got pretty soft a few times.
Go until she gets chargy and fast, then circle as above the other direction...
Did this all over the pen, with stop and backs in there to keep her on her back end.
For a lope, do the circle, get her soft then come out of the circle, lean way back, hands out and up and kiss into the lope, really sitting back and waving legs so she uses her hind, but being sure to keep hands up and wide so she has her shoulders up...
Then tie around 10 minutes each way and a little more trotting.
Excellent ride and great first time lesson with this trainer... I learned a lot! I got off and recorded Michael's ride - she has come so far with her mare, and I hope Daisy has the same progress ...
Daisy jumped in the trailer with only a small hesitation, it took just a few minutes and no whips were involved.
My instructions for the week:
1. Lunge 20 minutes every day - mostly walk and trot, only canter if she goes into it on her own, but then keep her at it for a few circles after she wants to break, then back to walk and jog.
2. Tie her around 10 minutes each side - can do this in her stall - saddle her, tie her around, set a timer and then clean stalls or tack until timer goes off, then change sides and repeat. This gives her a rest from the lunging, so she still has enough left for the riding...
3. Ride lots and lots of circles - try to keep the trot going and then into circles both ways. Lope a few circles each way - not more than two circles at a time. Much more trotting than anything else - look for a soft, lifty trot with impulsion from the hind and a give to the face ... when I get it - reward and get off.
4. Showmanship drills while she cools off. Set her feet, reward and practice quarters. Then pivot 90 degrees, trot off and after about 50 feet, stop and set again. Repeat until I complete the square then practice backing a few times, then set up again and put her away.
Do this at least five times before next Saturday... the weather is supposed to hold for most of the week - so we'll see how far we get.