I thought that this could be a good way to map my progress, so here goes.
My horse is an 18 yr old purebred arab, even though he doesn't look it. I have his papers to back me up haha. I've owned him since November 2011, but I was working with him for about a year before I brought him. He was badly mistreated before he came into my care and its been one long learning experience with him.
He's my best buddy and we get up to all sorts of shenanigans. I see him every day, but I haven't been riding him as much as I want to due to wet weather. I'm going to try riding him this arvo though as its been sunny most of the day, so I'll post an update then
Well, got a good 30 mins worth of trotting today, but it seems like he's forgotten everything we've been working on lately grrr. I had him moving in a nice, balanced, and rhythmic trot but today was so sloppy. I had to do half halts almost every 6 or so strides. He also kept bringing his head up and tried to rush through his paces which is due to not being ridden for two weeks, he likes to tear around at a canter and gallop after a break but I wouldn't let him today.
Eventually though he did settle into a nice frame which we kept at for a little while before I got off, ended it on a good note and stuff. He was pretty well behaved considering there were some large trucks shifting dirt right near us, which he hates the sound of.
He's used to doing two hour sessions so I took it relatively easy on him today due to our little break. Tomorrow, weather and time permitting (I have the sneaking feeling I might get called into work) I'm going to take him out on the trails, and see if our usual galloping stretch is relatively dry. If it is I'll let him go for a bit so he can burn off some of the energy he's got.
If it's not, I'll bring him home and work on our down transitions, which we're always working on. They're usually pretty smooth but he can be a bit choppy and slack if he thinks he'll get away with it, especially walk - halt.
I did video today's session on my phone, but I'm not going to upload it. The film quality isn't very good but I'll be able to watch it and review it for myself. Not having an instructor can be difficult, I never know what I look like from the ground urgh.
I should probably get a new camera so that I can post decent vids for people to critique haha. One day.
Wow okay missed a fair few days here. Here goes updates.
Entry Two (13.07.13)
Didn't get as much time as I would have liked to ride today, I did end up getting called into work after all.
So instead of my nice relaxing trail ride, I worked on the flat, did some transitions and stuff, which he had fun with. He was working better than he did yesterday, he's more focused and was being a lot more balanced, so I didn't have to correct him as much.
Halfway through he started bending through the poll which I was ecstatic about because that's something that we always are having issues with, I'm not sure how well educated he was before me so alot of things I've had to start on from scratch. I get the feeling that he was just a general hop on and have fun horse, though apparently he did pony club and endurance way back in the day.
My general plan for him right now is just to get him comfortable and in a good frame, as well as him working through his back end. Once we get those basics as perfect as I can then we'll be building up from there.
Even though he is older I would like to take him 3de. He gets incredibly enthusiastic about it and he enjoys doing it so even though I am bad at jumping that's where we are aiming
Entry Three (14.7.13)
I didn't even ride today due to the massive amount of paperwork I had to do, so I lunged my horse instead.
He's moving nicely, he needs to step under himself more as well as drive more from behind but I can see definite improvement from 3 months ago. He rarely runs around with his nose in the air these days (as he did when I first started working with him almost three years ago) and he's become a lot more balanced and rhythmic since the beginning of this year.
He's not as far ahead as he could be in his training rn, but I feel really hesitant pushing him, I don't want to ask for too much and ruin my horse. Some days we have really intense, serious training days so I like to throw in nice relaxed days where we trail or do barebacked things, cause if there's a serious all the time he gets disheartened and loses interest. Switching things up and keeping things fun keeps him happy.
Back on track (I tend to ramble huh?) We did 30 mins of lunge (10 of which were cooling down/warming up) with transitions and change in direction every 2 mins.
Entry Four (15.7.13)
Did a jumping course today!!
I really suck at jumping (though I've noticed vast improvement lately) so our course was rather small - Biggest jump was about 70cm (I think thats 2'3").
Just for the record - last time I took lessons was about 2007, and I never had many jumping lessons. So it's been up to me to workout how to jump by myself. So I've been reading, watching videos, looking at online lessons, trial and error ect to figure out what I'm doing.
But anyway my horse love jumping almost as much as he loves trails so I jump around once or twice a week. If you let him he navigates the course himself, but I don't let him as a general rule.
The course was six jumps - two cross rail, two parallels and two uprights (one combo). I was mainly focusing on my seat today, and keeping my horse at a calm, medium paced canter (he likes to tear around which I guess would be handy in a speed round or something).
My legs need work, which really doesn't surprise me, but they have gotten better. What I really was happy about was how much more balanced I am over the jumps, seems jogging and pilates are paying off (urgh you have no idea how shonky I was when I started out haha). I think that my hands have gotten alot better too - I used to accidentally catch him in the mouth every now and then but not anymore.
Anyway, really please with how today went, not a rail down
Entry Five (16.7.13)
Managed to find a decent camera today, whoop whoop so hopefully I'll be putting up videos and pics soon.
My sister asked to come out and ride today, so after warming Osha up and doing some bending for a little bit I gave her a lesson.
She's a bit scared of horses I think, but she seems to be going well despite that. I decided that I would work with her on her turning and changes of direction (If your not firm, Osha will decide a route for you regardless of where you want to go)
She managed to get him going in a 20m circle which is good, I'm proud of her ( used to be that she couldn't get him to walk for more than 10 strides) and she successfully managed to get him to do everything I told her to do, such as do a 10m circle, change direction, go around the outside ect. Her confidence has definitely gotten better.
She wants to come out again tomorrow too, so I'll give her another lesson
Entry Six (17.7.13)
Did some more jumping today as well as worked on his frame. We only had the once jump set up today - a small ascending oxer. He was pretty keen, and enjoyed himself. Now that I've been riding him for a few days he seems to have settled for a bit - he stride is less choppy, more flowy, and he is a lot more balanced and rhythmic than he was the first day - there have been significantly less half halts.
Today had some gorgeous trot-canter transitions, as well as two pretty decent flying changes.
Anyways my sister rode again, today she decided that she wanted to trot, so I put her on the lunge line and she was pretty pleased with how it went. She needs to work on her rising, but I'm happy with how she's going. I'm not proper instructor, but due to lack of decent ones in our are she's going to have to put up with me. I've been studying up on what I need to teach her and show her, and she seems to understand what I've been saying, and I notice improvement in her. Who knows, maybe she'll get really into it.
I think might be getting another horse soon - her name is Misty, - she's an 18 month old Australian riding pony that will end up around 13-14 hh. I'm interested in her purely as a companion for Osha - though I will be paying special attention to her - If she's showed any promise and/or interest by the time she's 4, then I'll see if there is anyone interested in taking her as a riding pony. (I'm way to tall, I stand at 6ft ish)
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