Riding my 3 year old :)
A little background novel:
Dad traded a parts baler for 2 wild yearlings July 15th of 09. We had to rope them to get a halter on and each of us (me and dad) took on a project. I picked Squiggy, the smaller of the 2. I worked on getting her to trust me by some extensive roundpen work and just spending good old time with her. In April 2010, she got the best of me and I went to bed that night in an arm cast. i've gotten back on (after dad rode her a couple times when I had ma cast) and she's working great!
Anyways, on to the videos:
One from a week or two ago:
And two recent ones:
I think she's looking good for a 3 year old:) Although i would keep working on her head set when riding, to me she seems to fight the bit a little and tries to lift her nose upward. Oh, and good riding:)
Oh, i always thought head set was something taught, but i stand corrected. Thank you Equilove, for teaching me something new today:) and QHriderKE, you and Squiggy are looking perfect then! Keep it up!
It is taught to a certain point, but the horse must be balanced first and this one is not.
She's looking good OP, but I would really get her off those small circles. She's so unbalanced, she actually looks lame at times from trying to compensate. With a youngster like this, especially one that's fighting you quite a bit with her head in the air and not paying attention, I would get out her in a BIG field and working on huge circles and straight lines. Let her learn to balance herself, especially at the canter. I cantered my Paint at least half a dozen times before I began asking for circles. And especially being so young, it's terribly hard on their joints and back going so unbalanced in a tight circle.
I would work a LOT at the walk on leg pressure and forget the headset. Get her moving properly off your leg - side pass, turn on the haunches, turn on the forehand, etc. Get her soft and supple, gentle exercises asking her to lower her head and work her jaw at a standstill when she doesn't have to worry about balance. I wouldn't be working on any canter circles until she's started learning to respect your leg and not fight you.
First of all, I like your horse. She is nicely put together. She is a very useful looking horse and the Red Dun is pretty.
That being said, she has come a long way from being a wild yearling! However, at this point she is popping her butt out on turns and is way on her fore hand. I would, instead of circling one way for several turns and then the other way for several turns is to go back to the trot and do serpnetines.. so sye is turning both ways with a straight section between. Do not make the turns tight (go to the field where you show the lead work) and ask her to extend on the straight and to collect and slow on the turns. Use your outside leg behind the girth to hold her back end over and use your inside leg ON the girth and have her turn around that.
I would also do some work teaching her to move away from your leg behind the girth (turns on the forehand are good for this).
Don't worry about loping at this point.. get her balanced and round at the trot. Get her balanced so that you can ask for a walk and she smoothly goes from the trot to the walk... and then ask for a trot and get her to smoothly go into the trot from the walk. Eventually you do this from trot to halt and from halt to trot but not until you get the walk very smooth every time.
Work her on the serpentines and figure 8's (that look like two circles with a short straight part where they meet). I would do circles that are a little larger than the ones you are doing here.. so she can learn to bend. The circles you are asking for in the videos are a bit tight for her balance and skill level. She tends to pop a shoulder out or kick her hind end out.
Another thing I would do is get some poles and train her to trot over the poles on the ground. Use one pole at first and gradually build up to 8 poles. Start by placing them to fit her natural stride and then increase the distance a bit between them sho she needs to extend and pick her feet up over the poles (i nail blocks on the ends to raise them up about 6-8 inches after she learns to go over them with them on the ground. When you trot her over the poles, give her plenty of freedom and stand in your stirrups so she can easily raise up her back feet to clear them. This is a gymnastic exercise for her.
Keep up the good work. You have a nice little horse here. If I had known I could trade baler parts for this horse I would have.. heck.. given the person the whole baler and they could strip parts at their leisure! :)
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