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        03-03-2013, 05:23 PM
    Picture update! I got my son to come out to the farm with me and take a few pictures of Barnabus and I. He also took some short movies of the two of us riding. Oh boy, do I have some things to work on... open inside hand, floppy legs, and so on. But at least now I've seen it for myself so I can focus on at least one of those problems on my next ride.

    Here's Barnabus after a month with me!

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    piglet likes this.
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        03-09-2013, 07:57 PM
    Between the freak snowstorm and my work, it had been nearly a week since I'd seen Barnabus. However, today's weather was fabulous - sunny and around 60F. Yay! My lesson was really good. Balance was the topic for today. I was finally in balance in the corners and on the hills. Barnabus actually balanced himself and got off the forehand once when cantering downhill! Good boy! At the end of the lesson we trotted a few small jumps. We actually kept straight between the jumps, and I managed not to get over his neck, lose my leg, or any other silly things. The only thing we didn't quite do right was maintaining good impulsion trotting uphill. But I'll still call that a very successful lesson.

    On a different note, my BO told me that he's now integrated into the herd pretty well. He might be a laid back fellow with us humans, but he's definitely not at the bottom of the pecking order in the herd anymore. The gelding that had been tormenting him has evidently been put in his place. My BO told me that yesterday when bringing all the boys into the barn for their morning feed, Barnabus couldn't get into his stall (someone had latched it the previous night). So he goes into the mean guy's stall, pins his ears at that guy, who promptly backed into the corner, and then goes after the food. By that point my BO had managed to grab his halter and get him out. She said she was all set to have to deal with a big horse battle, and was shocked over how Barnabus backed him down. All that food is definitely having an impact on him! I can't wait to see how he looks in a couple more months.
        03-14-2013, 09:31 PM
    This week has been full of highs and lows. First, there was the call I got Monday from my BO saying that Barnabus was pretty lame. She thought it was an abcess and wanted to know what I wanted to do. Well, his foot got soaked that afternoon and the next morning, and he got a little bute as well for the pain. When I went out to look at him Tuesday, he seemed to be fine. He was pjtting weight on all feet and he trotted right out to the field for the night. So, we say "lets see what tomorrow looks like," in order to determine if a vet visit is needed. Yesterday, he is still moving ok. I get upon him and ride for a bit, but there were no signs of lameness. OK..... So maybe he just stepped on something and got a bruise. Who knows?

    Today's lesson was really neat. We spent most of the lesson with our hands pressed into the withers. This was an exercise designed to get us to stop pulling or balancing on the reins. What an interesting experience! I had no idea I was fiddling so much with the reins! Definitely need to continue work on steering, though. Our final bit was to go over some small jumps - but just sliding the hands forward a bit for the release. We cantered 3 jumps without stopping! What a great feeling.
        03-15-2013, 04:10 PM
    He looks like he's happy - and it sounds like the two of you are learning and making progress. I'm glad he's not being bullied anymore - I was ready to come kick butt on his behalf!
        03-23-2013, 10:00 PM
    I can't believe it's been a week since I last posted! I have discovered that Barnabus has a will of his own, and is no longer so shy about expressing it! When I went to ride Tuesday after work, I got there before evening feeding. My entire ride with him was a series of "discussions" about how he wanted to be in his stall eating and I insisted on riding. He wasn't mean about it, just very obvious about what he wanted.

    Thursday's lesson had more of the same. It was bitterly cold and windy thatn night, too. (Ugh, isn't spring supposed to be here?) Anyway, at the end of the lesson, we trotted a small course with no issues. For our second turn, we were supposed to trot the first jump, canter the next 3, then trot the last. No problem, right? Wrong! Barnabus decided not to canter. Then when I finally did get him in a canter (3/4 of the way around the whole ring!), he decided he'd had enough and ran into the fence instead of turning the corner. I came off. Oy. Well, got back on, faced that corner, and, per my instructor, gave him a good smack with the crop, and then asked for the canter again. This time we did the course just fine. Stubborn horse! Well, all that personality of his is part of why I like him so much!
        03-30-2013, 10:19 AM
    My rides earlier this week on Barnabus were pretty good. However, from Thursday's lesson, I've been given a new thing to focus on. That is getting true engagement of the hind end. Evidently what I'd been thinking of as a nice working trot was anything but. My BO said it's been lazy and inattentive. But she also said that when I got him to really focus on me and pay attention, his gaits were all much better. Duh! My goal for this afternoon's lesson is to try to focus on that much more. I also want to ask about what I should do when Barnabus ignores my leg (i.e. Being inattentive). Do I need to give him a quick smack with a crop, or begin wearing spurs? I'm eager to see what I can do in today's lesson!
        03-31-2013, 07:49 PM
    Green Broke
    I see a lot of improvement along his back. Do you have a weight tape to see how much he's gaining? I always kept track of my horses w/a monthly weighing,as sometimes we don't see what's in front of us-just another tool for good management. I hope you get more riding time as the weather gets nicer & the days longer. Do you have any trails to ride on?
        04-01-2013, 03:28 PM
    That's a really good idea! I'll see about borrowing a weight tape tomorrow when I go out to the farm again.

    As for trails, there's a lady at the farm that pretty much only does trail riding on the neighbors properties. She's agreed to lead us around on some weekend soon when it's warmer. I'm looking forward to that!
        04-07-2013, 09:38 PM
    I've managed to forget to borrow a weight tape all week, but it's definitely still on my list of things to take care of soon! I want to see how much Barnabus has managed to gain over the last two months.

    In my lesson on Thursday, we spent more time on transitions and getting him to really start using his hind end better. Overall, it was a very good lesson, even though we held it during a rain/hail storm! My lesson yesterday was interesting as well. My BO brought out a set of small spurs. She told me to wear them so she could see how he reacted to them. Now that was interesting! A small nudge of the spur got more of a reaction from him than the crop ever did. I felt like I did OK with my first attempt at using them for the walk and trot, but I suspect my leg wasn't quite as stable at the canter. My BO was pretty pleased overall though. She mentioned having me wear the spurs for a week or two and then we'll see how he goes.

    One thing that we have noticed about Barnabus is that when he gets tired (or maybe a bit overwhelmed mentally?), especially going to the right, he will pick a corner and run into the fence instead of turning the corner. He'll do this at both trot and canter. He's done it with all four corners at various times, and he's even done it when using only half the arena. I was discussing that with my BO yesterday, and we're starting to think it might be more mental than physical with him, but nothing's been ruled out yet. We're going to keep working with him, and see if we can figure this out!

    Picture day with Barnabus coming later this week for sure. :)
    piglet likes this.
        04-07-2013, 09:51 PM
    I enjoyed reading your journal. I am an adult beginner rider as well...though You have a lot more lessons in than I do!!!! Have you decided to buy this horse? Did I miss that?

    Anyway, I'm subbing to read your future updates =)

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