Yet another Squiggy thread.
I'm starting to think she needs her own sub-forum. XD
In combination with "bit-bootcamp", I really am working on her lope.
Ya know, cross firing, hopping in the back end, head up-in-the-air, charging around, needing to be babysat... yaaaaaaaaa....... :?
A nice man who comes to the restaurant I work at explained how they get their horses to pick up leads and relax (they ride horses much like Squiggy - go all day kind of horses)
After a come to Jesus meeting in the fallow field and bit-bootcamp, she picks up her leads the first time AND relaxes. And strides out like we all now she can! There is still a bit of baby sitting to be done, but shes learning that loose rein is good and doesnt mean "zooooooom" Ooooh yeah!
Just working on a video, but ya'll want a screenshot I'm sure.
I'm so happy I can show both leads!!!!!!!!! You have no idea.
And video - She is stiff on her right lead, but thats okay.. horses have their sides, we just gotta keep working on it. :)
July 31st - Squiggy Lope - YouTube
I saw a soft walk and trot! Yay!
Don't forget to keep your hands lowwww girl, it'll help her soften up :)
The screen shots are where you wanna get that head all of the time. Just like that, if not even lower (Just to exaggerate) If she raises her head up (Like she is still doing here) Go ahead and stop her, and back her off your hands until her head goes down. Then walk/trot her nice and soft and ask her to lope again. If her head goes up and you can't get it down, bringing to the trot helps too and softening her up.
All in all you guys are making great improvements :)
I use that a lot with Red. When his head comes up, or he won't lope nicely for me, or what have you, I ask him to trot in a small circle until he relaxes again and drops his head. Then we go back to what we were doing. If he still has a problem, we do the small circle trot again. Trotting in a small circle has almost become his "cue" to relax because I use it so much in that fashion.
Yes, I see great improvements too! It'll just take a little time to get it to correlate into her lope, and to get into her muscle memory.
At about 4:08 in your video (for one example) you went almost all the way around the circle, pressure on the reins, but she did nothing but keep her nose in the air, and gape on the bit and ignore you. THAT is the type of thing where if she doesn't give to you in a couple strides at the lope, then you've got to immediately put her into a trot and small circle and make her give, give, give to the inside and get soft again. Then try the lope again.
When you are loping, exaggerate that bend even MORE for now. Really ask with your inside rein and inside leg. Don't worry about slowing her speed down (so don't try to hold her back with both reins). Make your loping circle smaller if you have to. And don't worry about trying to force her head down with both reins. Just try to get bend. Because when you get bend and softness, gets what happens to the speed? She'll slow down naturally.
When I first start loping her, I have a completely loose rein and ask for it, and if she decides to start zooming, I stop her, back her up a few steps until she drops her head and gives her face to me and chill for a second and start again. After doing it several times, she is ready to listen and work. That is what brought her lope to this point. I am going to just keep working on getting a nice even lope right off the bat for now.
She just started loping on the correct leads, I'm not going to push her for extra things yet - just imagine how much we have to retrain her muscles from cross-firing?
Just loping nice big circles for now, striving for no baby sitting, is enough for a weeks worth of rides.
I no you didn't ask for a critique but you always seem willing for feedback so I thought I might say , though you can ignore!
one thing I see at all gaits is that when squigy is turning is that his head appears a bit to bent and his shoulder is almost popping t the side making him unbalanced. Whilst obviously it's hard for you in an open space to see your circles it's very important you are supporting with your outside leg in order for him to become balanced and round. I also notice you lean into your circles quite a bit so try sit straighter at way he will be more balanced!
However, well done on your lope achievements I am not trying to dishearten you!
I will continue on with this thread. :)
After the break I gave her, we went back at the pattern. I'm only working her on it for 15 minutes a ride or so. The rest is spent lunging or trail riding or doing fun stuff like rollbacks and transitions ;)
Anywho. Her second barrel is better. Being the most complete turn, she likes to drop her shoulder and throw her butt away. Today, I rode it a bit different from usual and tried to make as similar to her nice third barrel as possible, and then just push her over to make the full turn. If that makes ANY sense at all. :)
2nd barrel - YouTube
Break? I'm sorry, but did you have her off the pattern for maybe 2 weeks? Correct me if I am wrong.
A two week break of riding almost every day is a lot of hours.
2nd barrel - YouTube
Oooooh lookie here! Bend, bennnd and BEND!
I guess I personally don't consider 2 weeks to be much of a break. IMO.
But Squiggy is looking much BETTER! Now just keep that excellent over-exageratted bend when you lope too; not just when trotting. Not bad in this freeze frame, but for right now, I'd almost like to see her with more bend at the lope, with her history. So get that inside hand up to elevate her front shoulder, and use that inside leg.
Maybe the pictures you posted are deceiving, but your inside leg contact looks good in the third picture, but looks like you need more leg in the first two pictures. (Really hard to tell with the angle on the first picture though.) Possibly leg is a little too far back in the middle picture. Again, hard to still with a still frame.
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