Best Ride To Date

She continues to be more forward.

Posting about it last week did not jinx it .  Gray mare carries on!

Really feels as if she thinks it’s fun to put in an effort too.

Some blurries from one of those happy rides.

riding a happy horse

Yes, it makes a difference when she seems to have a blast too.

Trying to figure out just the right way  in the trot to alternate the tempo, to slow her, but stay engaged, with the seat only, and then release and come forward again with push from behind.  Also from just the seat.

riding more forward

Figured out the only way it can be pulled of right now is riding with the mouth open like a fatty goldfish, concentrated but relaxed.  Not an attractive look.  But now you know the secret.

(And also the possible reason for why later pics might be all without the rider’s head in them.)


A little too much on my part in the canter lengthening.

lengthened canter

Truly, she should go by just allowing more with the hips, this is almost jockey style.  So, we catch air instead.

all four hooves in the air

Way too speedy.  Don’t do this.  Never thought I’d be working on slowing down, but now we are.

So, she has finally been just a little more of all the stuff I knew she could be, and everything I doubted she would ever get to.  How great that is!  When it all comes together!

There was also that one hill canter, her first real trail canter, a few times out along a trail and up a hill.  Thought she’d barely keep up.  But she wanted to beat her friend – second time up she went all out with a huge engine.  Sure, I let her win.  Happy if she wants to breathe hard.


18 thoughts on “Best Ride To Date

  1. What do I think? I think I have the trot answer for you but it’s so hard to describe because it’s one of those elusive “feelings” you’re supposed to have as a rider…hah…!! Let’s start with Walter Zettl (best German accent approximation here): W-a-a-alk da horz.z.z.e….Tro-o-o-o-ot da horz z e… Repeat till you can’t do it anymore. What he REALLY means is, from a trot, slow down to almost a walk then ask for a trot again. Don’t actually go into a walk. Do, say, ten steps trot and two or three steps almost walk. Then right back to trot. This takes a lot of finesse, but when you can get it smoothly every time then you are on your way to success at varying the tempo.

    As far as the rider’s body is concerned, I find that, for me anyway, the following works. But again, words leave out the essence of the “feel”: To increase tempo, push your rib cage toward your back. It will take a lot of experimentation to figure out just how to do that while remaining relaxed and supple in your body. It isn’t a huge movement, but when you get it right you will find that as you push back, your chest will open up and your shoulders will lower, all by themselves. Also, your buns will tuck themselves under as another desirable side effect. You should also feel your elbows automatically come slightly forward, as if pushing your hands into the bridle. If and when all of this happens (oh yeah, and keep your thigh pressure light to nonexistent, too) your horse should feel encouraged to go forward. To slow down, relax into the saddle and push softly into the cantle. Some light half-halts will be helpful at this time, too. You can do this at either posting or sitting trot.

    Would love to say that a picture is worth a thousand words, but in this case even a thousand pictures won’t help unless you somehow manage to recognize when the “feel” is just right and everything clicks into place. Sorry I can’t be there to prop you up! All I can say is, when it’s right the mare will let you know!

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    1. Ah, it’s all in the German accent! 🙂 Seriously. Loving this Alli!
      Now, it’s a small miracle for my buns to ever even consider tucking them selves under, so I’m definitely hoping to get the technique down. Soon, or yesterday!
      One day, the finesse of this should come to me. And YES, when it does, I’ll let you know!!
      Thank you! 🙂


      1. I thought the exact same thing about my buns, until I finally figured out that it wasn’t a huge muscular move but simply more of a “positioning”. Thank goodness, because I have to be one of the stiffest riders on this planet.

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    1. She is definitely a hard nut to crack. Gentle, slow, but sensitive, and now snorting and hot, mixed up with resistant on some mornings. It’s a small wonder we’ve gotten this far 🙂
      And somehow she gives the feeling that we can do SO much more, once I figure it out just right.

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    1. Yes! Right now, all the correct signs are there. I just don’t dare to trust it all the way just yet. It came on so quickly, and I keep expecting to come out and have her hating on her job again. I’m starting to think it was bothering her to have her “best friend” in a pasture close by where she could see her from the arena the entire ride. Now she’s more focused.
      Well. Really, who knows what she’s thinking, but I’m liking it! 🙂


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