I just have to tell you... So many happy things. Share yours!
As some of you are probably aware, Lacey is a crazy crazy mare. I love her to death but man, she's hot.
Anyway, due to a major altercation between us a few months ago (she was bolting with me and basically being completely out of my control, just because she could) I started riding her in a pelham.
The difference has been miraculously wonderful! I have so much more control and I really feel like I'm getting somewhere with her training.
I think the major change here is that I'm not distracted by the need to keep her under control because I know that all I need to do is engage the curb rein if she gets out of hand.
For instance, I've finally figured out how to influence her gaits with my seat which is something I've been trying to understand for years and never got. The last few rides, I've been able to get her into a trot so slow that it's practically walking and back up to a really fast trot just using my seat! It's really fantastic. Today I figured out how to "go dead" with my seat and get her to a walk, from a trot, without using the reins at all.
And, other fantastic thing, though all of this, she's been keeping her head down and stretching for contact! I'm not sure if it's "correct" contact but it's contact, none the less. She used to constantly have her head way up in the air when we weren't walking along on a loose rein so the fact that she's not bringing her head up and functioning well at all gaits is nearly miraculous.
AND! Today I was able to comfortably sit her trot for the first time EVER!!! Of course, it was only 5 strides before I fell apart and she sped up, but it's a start.
I'm not sure why changing to a pelham seems to have made all the difference but I think it helped me take any subconscious trepidation I had about controlling her out of the equation. I also think she really likes the solid contact that the ported snaffle part of the pelham gives her.
We also galloped today. I had been previously unaware that she has a slow canter, a fast-ish canter, a canter that's so fast it feels like galloping, AND a gallop. Lemme' tell you, that gallop is not something to mess with. Apparently it was also her version of a "hand-gallop" since I was still holding her in a bit. She was going so fast. I feel like she'd cream some cheetahs, or something, if she was really full-out galloping. She came right back down to me when I asked, what a good girl. :D
Anyway, that's my happy day stuff, share yours if you want! :)
That's awesome! I always feel so good when I can fix a problem, move on and do great things!
I'm just so excited for tomorrow! It will be my first day getting back on my Oliver after he has been so sick!
Thats great! Isn't it the best feeling ever when you make the smallest improvements?:D
I took my mare out for her FIRST trail ride today and it went great! She was actually better behaved then the other 2 experienced horses :clap:!
Can't wait for our adventure tomorrow !!!
It's so awesome when things just "click". Being mostly self taught about horses and riding, these moments are amazing. Like when I sat several of Thelma's trot paces bareback (shark fin withers and upright shoulder make bareback no fun!) and it didn't hurt either of us, and then a new lady at the barn showed me how to keep her from flinging her head up (trying to pull the reins from my hands) when I put some contact on as well as how to make her slooooooow her trot down and keep it there. I had known she had "two" trots, but could never keep the nice slow one because she prefered the fast choppy one.
Anywho! Congrats! Yay to success!
Yay what great progress Wallaby!!!!! :)
Congrats Wallaby, those breakthrough moments are what make it all worth it! Give that sweet ol' girl a scratch for me for her job well done!
That's fantastic news! I love how you described the different gears in her canter. My horse is also a 5 speed transmission. I've only engaged that top one twice and just spent the entire time hoping he didn't trip! Also glad you have a forum you can share stuff like this. The non-horsey people would just look at you like you had lobsters coming out of your head.
I can just imagine how you are starting to make this connection through your body to hers, and to her mind. When things like this happen, we realize how very deep and profound the connection can be, knowing that even this small progress makes a radical difference.
I had a lovely day today, too. I took the gentle giant Zulu out with a friend on Mac. it was gray and rainy and Z hadn't been ridden in 10 days, so I worried that he'd be a bomb. But he was really good. We rode sometimes "on the buckle" at a walk, but when I asked for a good trot, he leaped into it and I could tell he really wanted a good gallop.
I wasnt' sure I should let him out of a trot, but when he offered a canter up a hill, I let him, and soon it was a gallop! Not long distance overall, but man can he go! It does feel like being on a locomotive! He is 17hh and about 1400lbs, but he can book when he wants to. VEry exciting for this old lady! I am proud of mysefl for still being willing to do stuff like that.
Thanks for starting this thread.
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