The North Experience - Page 44 - The Horse Forum
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post #431 of 498 Old 03-02-2019, 09:56 PM
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Oh I need to get that stuff!
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post #432 of 498 Old 03-02-2019, 11:40 PM
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I looked at it. It's got quite a bit of iron in it. But the rest is solid.


"Stay ON the horse IN the arena" -my trainer.
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post #433 of 498 Old 03-03-2019, 07:43 PM Thread Starter
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I CANTERED NORTH TODAY!!!! Heehee. It felt incredible.

Had a lesson with Helen yesterday that ended up in us arguing about me cantering North. She wanted me to just do it. Just canter him. I argued NO, my seat's not good enough, and he's too unbalanced and crazy in the canter. SHE needed to canter him and teach him how to carry himself, so that I could be able to canter him. The last time she cantered him was mid January and it took 5-6 attempts before she could get him going somewhat normally on the correct lead. Because of his track training, canter to him means explode into an unbalanced, crazy gallop and I just don't have the seat or balance to teach him that it needs to come from the back and not the front.

We went back and forth for several minutes before she finally gave in and got in the saddle at the end of our lesson. And of course, just like in January when we had this same argument, I was proven right again. The first attempt wasn't bad at all. He picked up the wrong lead, but she just changed directions and kept him going, albeit a little fast, but he did well. The second attempt, he decided to brace and ignore her canter aid. She asked him to relax and soften and tapped him with the whip. Out of nowhere, he threw a huge buck and leaped forward almost giving Helen whiplash cause it was so unexpected. Much like he did with me in "the spook", but this clearly wasn't a spook and all attitude. Unfortunately for him, Helen has a much better seat than me and he got a one rein correction and was sent forward. He quickly realized his mistake, got back in line and was praised.

From then Helen was all business, and he responded accordingly. Previously, when cantered, she just kinda let him trot fast until he picked up the canter, and he often picked up the wrong lead. But now he is stronger and more balanced, so this time, when she asked for the canter, she didn't let him just jump into it, but actually use his hind and think about it. He got it on the 3rd attempt and she lavished him with praise. She changed directions and asked again and he picked up the correct lead on the first attempt and went into a lovely balanced canter. Once more in the other direction, and I swear it was the nicest I've ever seen him canter. She followed up in the downward transitions, asking him to stay connected. She got 3 good transition from him and then praised and ended the ride. From start to finish, I swear it was only about 10 minutes, and it literally changed everything. She said she would try to canter him again this week, but we were both really happy with what we saw.

So last night I went home and watched the videos from my ride and Helen's. When I say North is a smart cookie, I'm not even kidding. And this is the reason I have been able to do so well with him. Because Helen can get on and teach him something in one ride, and when I get on again, he remembers. I just have to make sure I'm doing it correctly. So when I went out today, I already had in the back of my mind that I would try to canter him myself. From the very start, the ride was fantastic. Both our upward and downward transitions were amazing. He was a bit behind the leg at times, but I figured he might have been a little tired from the day before. Regardless, it was one of our best rides. He was so consistent in the connection and really in tune to me and paying attention. So I decided to throw all my reservations out the window and just do it.

He picked up the correct lead the first try. He didn't run, it wasn't crazy, it was actually really nice for our first go and I was ecstatic! But after our first try, he was anticipating and a little running in the trot, so I didn't ask again. We did a couple trot rounds and then I brought him back to walk and halt and praised him. He was good, GREAT in fact, and that was all I needed. I was beaming from ear and to ear. My guy was there to take video so as soon as I got him back to the barn, I sent it to Helen. She couldn't believe it. Lol. But I know my horse, and he's a baby, and I feel like he needs to fully understand what is being asked of him. I'm not a strong rider, so I don't think it's fair to him for me to get on and try to make him do something that I can't clearly communicate. And that's what I argued with Helen, but now I think she finally understands.

So yea, AMAZING day! Below is some of our video today with a few strides of our canter. I'm so in love with this horse! <3


"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."
- Maya Angelou
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post #434 of 498 Old 03-04-2019, 09:51 AM
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YAY!!!!!!!!!!! You guys look fantastic!!! <3
And Helen is amazing too! That is so exciting!!! Eeeek! I'm sure you are so excited to do it again!

And don't worry if it isn't always 'perfect', he's a baby! It will get better the stronger he gets (he's already gotten stronger!) and he will become more balanced. It sure shows all the hard work you have been putting in is paying off. You guys look great. :) So proud of you two!!!
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Ride more, worry less.
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post #435 of 498 Old 03-04-2019, 09:58 AM
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Woo Hoo! This horse is amazing! What a team you two are!
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post #436 of 498 Old 03-08-2019, 10:21 PM Thread Starter
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I have a confession to make...

I have been on quite the bender for my pony. He's gotten the new saddle pad, new bonnet, some new polo wraps, a whole new set of Haas brushes (totally your fault @GoldenHorse - I saw your post), a new bridle, and today his new bit arrived. The first step is admitting you have a problem. My problem is I want the best of everything for my Northie. Lol.

He's such an amazing baby that I can't help myself.

We had a lesson yesterday with Helen cause she's outta town this weekend. Normally I'll ride and then at the end, Helen will hop on and canter him a bit. Well, after she rode him last weekend, he was SO good the next day when I rode, so I got an idea. This time I told Helen I wanted her to ride FIRST. Give him a good tune up to the aids and canter BEFORE I got on. It was the right thing to do. She rode for about 15 minutes getting him forward and really responsive to the aids and then cantered him a bit. I swear his canter is 10x better now. By the time I got on, he was amazing. It was like I only had to think trot and we were off.

I totally screwed up the canter though. It's what I always do, just over think everything. He'd go to pick up the canter and I'd bring him back to trot. We never got more than a few strides after several attempts because I couldn't make myself just let go. Helen got some video for us, so of course, I did what I always do. Went home and watched it multiple times. Today I went back after work determined to give it another shot.

I ordered him a Neue Schule Team Up bit. Said it was great for young, green horses and establishing a solid connection. He's not terrible about the contact, but I've always felt like maybe I should try something else. I've been riding him in a french link snaffle since I got him. He LOVED this new bit. I've never seen him so quiet in a bit before. Riding him was amazing. He was so soft, yet steady in the contact. I mean he just felt incredible in my hands and it took so little to communicate with him.

And we cantered! And I did so much better this time! I just had to tell myself to let go and ride him with my seat and body. I can't even convey how much I love this freakin horse. How many times can I post how amazing he is in this journal?? I feel like we can all start taking shots every time I say it cause I can't stop. A barn friend hung out with us while we rode. I swear he just keeps filling out and his neck is getting thicker every day. So we're trotting around my friend and he's SO round and so soft and she's like, "He looks amazing. He doesn't even look like a TB!"

Tomorrow they're doing Pony Club at my old barn again, so me and North are gonna go with them so we can school in the dressage arena. My guy is coming so I will have some video to share. I can't wait to share with you guys what I've seen from him in the past week. I'm so proud and enamored with my little Puff & Stuff.

"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."
- Maya Angelou
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post #437 of 498 Old 03-09-2019, 12:47 AM
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Lol, glad you ordered the brushes, you and North will love them.

CONGRATULATIONS, on your canters that is awesome, and it will only get better.

I so hear you on the overthinking, different for me now, because Chuck is far from green, but overthinking and over asking gets me in trouble. I’m learning to feel it, rather than think it, so awesome.
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“Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity”
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post #438 of 498 Old 03-09-2019, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden Horse View Post
Lol, glad you ordered the brushes, you and North will love them.

CONGRATULATIONS, on your canters that is awesome, and it will only get better.

I so hear you on the overthinking, different for me now, because Chuck is far from green, but overthinking and over asking gets me in trouble. I’m learning to feel it, rather than think it, so awesome.
The brushes are amazing! I ordered the Alan Davies collection (cause Valegro-duh! Lol) I dont understand how they do it, but they get him SO soft and shiny!

So glad you are doing so well with Chuck. He looks like such a sweet guy. It's such a great feeling ain't it?
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"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."
- Maya Angelou
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post #439 of 498 Old 03-09-2019, 08:41 PM Thread Starter
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So I was fully prepared to post a video tonight of our amazing ride today in a dressage arena. We hauled North over and I got him fully dolled up, bonnet and everything. The Pony Club girls were using the arena, so I decided to hang out with North a little. Mostly just walked him around and then decided to warm him up with a little trot. There were a lot of kids and people there.

In the area we were riding, there's mini bleachers with an awning/roof over it. North was a bit weary of this, but we rode past it without too much looking. Then a little boy went over and sat on them... North was trotting around lovely and then as we came around the next bend, the boy decided to just pop up. Startled North who threw the brakes on and went sideways. I remember thinking, maybe I can grab his neck and stay on. That was all she wrote. Apparently when I tried to grab his neck, he nailed me right between the eyes. I was out cold before I even hit the ground.

When I came to, I had no recollection whatsoever of what I was doing there, that I was riding, or how we got there. They said I kept asking the same questions over and over again.

"Was I riding??"
"Who was I riding??"
"I was riding North??"
"But how did we get here??"

3 of the parents there were doctors and my old trainer is a nurse so they checked me over but were alarmed that I kept asking the same questions over and over. 2 of them called their people at the hospital and let them know I was on my way. I don't remember how I got to my car. I just remember us leaving the barn. We went to the ER and they did a scan of my brain and all came back normal. Doc said I just got a concussion and needed to rest. I wanted to go back to the barn and ride but he said NO. Lol. My guy got the whole thing on video and after watching it, I'm seriously glad I wasn't more injured.

When I got back to the barn, one of my barn friends recapped everything for me and I'm not gonna lie. I was cracking up! She said I was laughing after my fall when I asked them what I was doing there and how I got there. I was just grateful that I didn't injure my back again! My guy says I need a new hobby. I say, if you've never fallen off a horse, then you've never really ridden. Tomorrow is up in the air, but I'm hoping to get another shot at a decent ride! He was going so lovely before the fall! Lol.


"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."
- Maya Angelou
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post #440 of 498 Old 03-09-2019, 09:55 PM
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NO, do not be riding tomorrow....go love on him, do groundwork, let your brain settle down. You seriously do not want risk another trauma.

Sorry you got hurt, but he was going very pretty until then!
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“Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity”
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