When Riley was little I put him in the paddock with my oldest horse so that he would learn manners. It worked well and he was fairly humbled. After the old Black horse died, I gave him Pistol who he continued to respect but his respect levels for me had dwindled somewhat on the ground. He was earning my fear which caused me to seek out a professional who taught me some Clinton Anderson methods that have been quite helpful. Over this winter I've realized how much more control I have over day to day incidents that normally would have sent my heart racing. Slowly I started to realize, I was in control...
Today I realized I really am the alpha member of the heard which made me feel really good. Riley has been getting a little bit too dominant with Pistol who is 29 and going blind so yesterday I put Pistol out with Blue and Sierra. With Blue's facial paralysis I don't have to worry about him stealing food from Pistol because it takes him plenty of time to eat and with Sierra being a lady, I knew she wouldn't bother him either. She did however try to keep him from his hay so I walked over and gave her the mommy voice. I was shocked when she lowered her head and switched piles. Even after I left she did not bother him again.
Riley hadn't realized I had switched horses on him so when he finished his grain, he charged into the stall expecting a toothless old man but what he got was a butt full of his mother. He was so shocked he didn't dare to move. I had to save him. Then after his meal she refused to let him have any hay so I had to go give him a pile. Again, all attitude ceased with my sharp voice. Kind of neat.... Anyway... On to the questions...
First of all, I put the magnetic boots on before I rode today, for about an hour. I think they worked. He was sound and very forward moving... Imagination or reality?
Second... In the show ring I've noticed that the horses with the rounded necks and the nose level with the ground are in the top of the class as far as pinning go's, however, I've also noticed that some of the horses, WP and HUS have their noses tipped slightly out with a curve in the neck and a rounding of the back, they too can be pinned really high. SO... The question is, does it matter? Is one preferred over the other, or does consistency and proper movement matter more?
Next question, When I was loping he was actually really moving well, a true canter/lope movement which is a huge deal for me because he usually breaks in the back. It's not quite a trot but it's not a true movement in the back. Today was real. BUT... He would give me about three great strides and then get really heavy on the front so I had to go to two hands so I could pick him up and then he'd try to go choppy but when I rolled my spur he moved forward and did well. Is he trying to go heavy on the forehand because it's easier or is it because I might be doing something wrong? (He's only been riding a handful of times in the last couple months so he's out of shape).
Another question... We had a thread a while ago about proper WP position and in that thread I posted a picture of myself and realized my legs needed to be pushed back from my hips so I really worked on that today, which I did feel like my jog, trot, lope, and canter was much better and I think it's because of my seat, I also noticed that my back didn't hurt, like it thrust me into a more natural position BUT... My left leg kept trying to slide forward. Like my right leg was solid and in a good position but my left leg wanted to slide forward. Suggestions?
I think I had more questions but I forgot them.... :(
For your second question - according to the AQHA rulebook, they ask for the horse to be slightly ahead of the vertical. When my horse was working really hard to collect himself, he would be on the vertical without me touching him. Either way is okay, I think they just want to discourage people from having too much contact, or pulling the horse behind the vertical.
3rd question - Does he know how to haunches-in? Four-beating is much, much easier on the horse than the true three-beat collected lope. I would give him the three strides then quit, reward, then try three strides again. You really have to build it. It helped to get my horse off the forehand when I loped to get him to haunches-in at the lope, where he would open the shoulder and bring his hind-end up under him, push push push that hind end for the drive. You'll get 2 or 3 rocking horse strides, then stop. You definitely have to build up to it.
I'm assuming I'm better off loping for shorter periods of time correctly then incorrectly? I jogged most of the time I rode today and only loped for about 10 minutes then went back to the jog. We also backed and side passed. He turns on the front corners well by my hind corner turn is sloppy..... Is that weakness or laziness?
Sounds like you're making good progress :)
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