Pictures As Promised

Here’s where she is in the training.

Or, full disclosure, here’s where she is for 3 seconds in the training!
horse trotting through corner

The canter is really coming along, which is so encouraging!  Right now our problem is to stay within the set tempo.

Earlier, she’d rather not bother to canter much at all.  Now, she’s gotten stronger and rounder over her back, and has decided it should be done with gusto, faster and faster.  Or yeah, not-at-all-thank-you-very-much-I’m-stopping-alltogether-now.

gray dressage horse cantering

Have to regulate it just right.  Last week, that seemed like it would take forever.  She hated it.  Then Friday I tried some (almost) serpentine work just for kicks and she stayed so soft and controlled through the turn on both leads.

Thrilled with her!  Paying NO attention to transitions that time.  Would have been too much…

trotting with young horse

improving trot on diagonal

Trying to leg yield both to, and away from, the rail.  Sometimes it works.

starting leg yield with young horse

Another great thing (but at the same time challenging for now.) is a huge amount of blow/snorting during the canter.  She used to be quiet, never breathing all the way through, not truly releasing and giving the feeling she was working in it.

Several rides she’s done so much relaxing and blowing that we completely fall apart and have to start over.  Very good problem to have!  Just need to figure out how to allow it to happen and carry on, earlier.

Fun times!

cross bred andalusian mare

20 thoughts on “Pictures As Promised

  1. I was feeling really depressed yesterday with my pony’s canter progress. Still not as good as Valiosa’s, but it’s nice to read that mine isn’t the only one who has decided that “with gusto” is the way to go. Thank you for sharing this.

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    1. So then, start introducing a regulated tempo, with the outside rein. Turning in on a circle as soon as it gets out of hand. This really helped me.
      Sure, by no means perfect, but getting SO much better 🙂

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      1. Yes! Especially with canter, there do seem to be blockages that are hard to get through, but I think it’s a strength issue more than anything. I have had more than one experienced trainer tell me that strength is not built by cantering a lot, but by lots of transitions, so: trot/canter/trot, and start working on walk/canter/trot. Also do leg yield in canter, just a few strides at first as she figures out the balance, and transitions within the gait. Shoulder-fore on the 20 m circle at the canter is difficult at first, but really good when she gets a bit stronger (something to work towards, but you will be doing it by the end of the summer). And hill work, if you can find it – and poles!

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        1. Thank you for all this! We’ve got about half of this, although shoulder fore in canter is far off on the 20 still. She has so many evasions, leaking out energy everywhere and anywhere she can, so we’re not quite there yet. Still determined to make it happen!
          Now that we have some hills, I’ve made a point to walk up and down them a bit at the end of most rides. The barefoot commitment has put a bit of a damper on this, as there are small rocks out there, but as there is still grass from all the rains it’s going pretty good.
          As for the transitions, we need LOTS more of them. I tend to not do enough 😉 Time to test leg yield in canter! SO valuable now that we have mirrors on the short and so I can see the misery down there 🙂

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