Inspiration Weekend

Volunteering at last weekends’ clinic, a definite inspiration!

Our local chapter held a 2-Day “Fix-A-Text” format clinic at Clay Station Ranch with Sue Curry.  The auditing serves as my inspiration for this week.

Many horses, at all levels.  Especially liked watching the younger ones, coping with the pressure of the clinic and an absolute storm with howling wind and rain!  There was a very expressive 6-year old Warmblood mare I envied, and then a true training success story…

A  5-year old Off The Track Thoroughbred riding at First Level.  Calm and attentive and he did great.  She’d had him for just 2 months, he’s just starting out!

I didn’t have time to ask permission to publish a picture, so this is all you get.


Thought they were a pretty cool inspiration.

In the meantime, back home at the farm:

Valiosa have not advanced much in her lateral work with me.  Yet.  I have touched on the leg yield with her.  We’re far from free-flowing.  Engagement will help with that.  (Just waiting for her to propose I guess.)

Pictures are from earlier this winter, but it’s still all the same.

Setting up straight on the quarterline.  Yes!

At quarterline

Then, it unravels and the shoulders lead.  Half halting here only makes her loose tempo completely, so I try to just go back to straight.

shoulders leading

One day we’ll figure it out!  Just not today.

Testing out some shoulder in, or really more like shoulder fore along the longside.  A few steps, very happy with that.

baby shoulder in

It’s her first exposure to any of this.  And my first time actually trying to teach it, not just riding it.  Yep, doing this on my own is not exactly a confidence builder.  :- 〉

15 thoughts on “Inspiration Weekend

  1. Sounds like a fun clinic! We’re just starting to work on lateral movement over here, tempo is also key for us and he has a particular strong shoulder to the inside when tacking right (which makes life weird). I’m finding if I’m on the quarter line and want to leg yield left to the rail, if I flex left just slightly and don’t lose the contact in my right rein, it sets him up well. Thinking about posting toward my left wrist then keeps us on track. Yay for ponies!


  2. I often do shoulder in on the 20 m circle. You get even more engagement and it’s really good for them. You could also try the spiral in on the circle and spiral out (leg yielding out). Then you don’t have to worry so much about straight lines. Outside rein will be important so you don’t lose that outside shoulder. Lateral work is fun and so good for strengthening them and increasing hind leg engagement but yes, very hard to do on your own without eyes on the ground. See if you can get someone to videotape you and watch your videos to see where you can make improvements, and report back in to us on how you have mastered the leg yield and shoulder in!


    1. Small amounts of shoulder in on the 20 today. In both directions. Yey! Better tempo all around, but the leg yield is stil very elementary. I’m going to take a couple of short sessions from the ground, to do just a little bit of leg yielding that way along the rail, for her to get the feel, and for me to see it’s actually phyically possible for her 🙂 (which it is of course, but one will start to wonder sometimes…)
      Lesson on Thursday next week – thinking I could maybe ask for a little bit of videoing with the phone… You’re right, I really need to SEE what on earth we’re doing!


      1. Great idea, to do it from the ground to give her the idea (and for you to see that yes, she is perfectly capable of moving sideways). If you have an iPad, you can usually video from that, too, and see it better than iPhone videos which are hard to see and the iPhone seems to have a hard time focusing on moving objects. Although at least you have a white horse so maybe it can handle it better than my dark horse in a dark indoor ring! We both have baby horses now so we’re both working on the same things 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Just videoing with my little Android, on the rare occasion that someone actually wants to hold it. 4 times per year 😉
          Definitely helps with her light color though – I once took pictures of a dark horse in a really light indoor arena and it was just amazing how little of it that came out good.
          So excited for you with your new young mare!! The entire first year of riding my young one, felt like it was incredibly complicated at all times. It’s first now I feel I know what to expect each time. Betting you will be lightyears ahead of that in just a month!! 🙂


          1. Some days I feel quite hopeful and other days I think, “wow, what have I gotten myself into???” But she’s a lovely mare and so sweet and willing, that I think given time, we will do very well together. It just may take more time to get things going than I initially thought. Oh well. Lay the foundation well and I will not regret it. It is very exciting to see her muscling and coat changing almost daily. New pictures in a week or so to illustrate. She’s not back to black yet – just a weird spotted color now – but at least her coat is shinier and softer, and I think her muscling is changing…


          2. Given that she’s not fully muscled etc. I know she’s not able to do the work sessions you’d like just yet, and being a bit green I know Exactly how sort of “huh?” a whole week can feel as a rider.
            That’s alright, no stress, in the end she’s going to be lovely!!
            Can’t wait to see the next update on her!

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I’d recommend schooling the leg yield in hand too! Some horses take really well to it and it helps them understand what you want under saddle. I worked with a TB who could not fathom the ideal of laterals until I got on the ground and nudged him into it. Some horses just get more confused, but I have a feeling your girl will let you know pretty quickly what she thinks of it. As for the blows to your confidence…you have an excellent attitude and so much patience, you’re thinking through Valiosa’s training exactly as you should, I think you’re doing great 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Kieran!
      Off for a little groundwork we go. She has absolutely NOT understood the concept from the saddle just yet, and I hate to sit and escalate aids, which doesn’t really teach them the right thing. 🙂


Comments are closed.