Short Read, Day 8 – Ride Your Possum


Gray Mare, finally thought she’d caught on…


– “Yes, I get it! Oh, finally!”

– “You want me to waver like a lit possum through the corners!

– Gaping on the bit like I ran out of toothpaste this morning and just rubbed my gums with a little rat poison instead?!

– Alrighty Mam, you’ve got it!”

lengthening the canter

Actually, she turned out pretty good in this ride.Β  Once we’d both landed on the same planet.

walking on a long rein

The leg yield.Β  Yes, still needs some.Β  Work.

crossing over with the hind leg in leg yield

11 thoughts on “Short Read, Day 8 – Ride Your Possum

    1. Don’t like the giraffes. Border lines on nose bleeds… πŸ˜‰

      Carmen is starting to look absolutely stunning with you by the way! I think she’s starting to like her job. (Goonies and ghouls and all.)


    1. Tried it, and really thought we had the holy grail. Until I got a folded up banana instead. Can’t win against gray mare. Instead I have to hold the outside rein just so. Not fiddle with the inside. Sit on the outside seatbone. Use both leg aids, but careful not to use the lateral one too far, or hard, or pressing longer than 1 second. While pulsing with the other or we just side pass. Not bend in the torso, eyes peeled in the direction we want, but not staring hard. Jeez. It’s exhausting even writing it.
      Clearly, we’re still pulling 6’s in this move at best πŸ™‚

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      1. Leg yield is probably the biggest challenge so far for me and Charm too. She likes to lead with her hindquarters, so that’s where our main problem lies. What helps me (don’t know if it helps anybody else) is basically what you do with some small variations. Sit centered in saddle, some weight on outside seatbone but not overwhelming. Sit rider’s rear end well into the saddle, but not heavy, keep legs long, outside leg firmly on horse to form a “wall” for support, inside leg pulses as inside hind is coming forward, but also inside hipbone is slightly forward pressing moderately into the saddle. Outside rein half-halts rhythmically with the pulses of inside leg. Inside rein is steady, does not pull horse’s head in. Hands are very close together so that both reins are on horse’s neck. Inside rein soft but present on horse’s neck, outside rein half-halts to straighten the rear end. Yeah, I’m out of breath now…
        One thing I tried that helps me get a feel for when she’s ready to go into the leg yield is to go down the quarter line perfectly straight, then push my inside hip forward without changing anything else and wait till she just starts to “think” about going in a lateral direction. Then straighten and repeat. After a while she learned what that inside hip meant and it got a lot easier to set her up for the movement.

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        1. I’d liked give the hip prep a shot. Anything that will introduce the idea of forward laterally while remaining straight should be good πŸ˜‰

          Hands close is A great reminder too for anyone. I haven’t focused on that at all! Tomorrow!

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          1. The rationale behind the hip forward is to encourage the shoulders to get out of the way so the hind leg that’s going to be crossing over has plenty of room to do it. A byproduct is (sometimes) a straighter horse…

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          2. It’s the crossing under of the hind that is the struggle for her too. You know, in addition to ALL the other stuff 😡
            It’s her body, lateral work is hard for her, and I think it will haunt us for some time. The zig zag canter half pass at Grand Prix will be hard. Then again, I’ll be dead before we get there πŸ˜‰


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