Other Hard Things We’re Working On

We’re not in bootcamp, but Valiosa may be starting to think so.

Each ride, she has to go at least half-way correctly, at least half of the time.  Annoying to her, and hard work, since she usually gets to tourist-around and work more on own terms 🙂 here and there.

sitting straight while riding on the circleEmpress Plum Pudding would rather do some type of Western Jog than this.

One change in her is a better, softer, trot and once she turns on the motor behind a lot of the “tweakiness” finally goes away up front.  Well, yeah, go figure, we all know that’s how it works, but it would take me soooo long to figure out in each ride how to “arrive” there with this horse…  And then start over from scratch again the next ride.

New task is to half halt more.  Half halt quicker.  Half halt and not holding.  OK, how about just half halting!!?  And pushing the hands forward to soften, while keeping her on the outside rein.

allowing the horse to canter freely forward
Nice little hind leg pumpin’!

Straight stretchy trot can happen, small miracle.

horse stretching in trot

Overall (ignoring another huge problem: keeping the hand closed.  Maybe next year.) aids have to be quicker.  Quicker half halts, quicker to give, quicker leg, and quicker transitions.  Little syrupy preparations take too long, we amble around too much.

Riding with the leg off will go a long way.  Would be great to reprogram to never touch with the leg unless it’s an actual aid – impossible now but refusing to give up!

overbending the horse neck to the inside

Also super difficult:  Straight with just the right flexion.  I either get too straight or overbent, especially to the left.  But she is softer, so I’ll take it!

Only 4 rides left of “more focused training.”  It’s been luxurious, to have help at every ride.  Spoiled.

dressage with andalusian cross horse

Show you more next week!

18 thoughts on “Other Hard Things We’re Working On

    1. Yay! We’ve been stuck in a rut for some time, with minimal improvement, so this month feels like pure luxury to have actually gotten somewhere. She makes a good case for herself that she should only sort of mosey around all stiff – working on convincing her there’s a much better way 🙂
      More on Monday!

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      1. I look forward to the report! I just got a Tota Comfort bridle for Star and I can say after the first ride that I think it MIGHT make a difference. More reports later….guardedly optimistic. She’s such a princess and the pea.

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        1. Wow!
          Feedback when you’re ready! Maybe go back to the old one after a couple of weeks and then back to new one and see if there is a difference.
          Love new tack either way!!! 💮🌸🏵

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          1. Ok, here’s the results on the Tota Comfort: she loves it and goes well in it. Clearly finds it less annoying and more comfortable. BUT, just like every other bridle (this is #4 now), we get rubs. I am using Acavallo gel strips to address that, as well as some sheepskin under her chin. Her hair/skin are so delicate, we joke that we should wrap her head in bubblewrap and cut out holes for eyes/nose. The heat makes it much, much worse. But overall, I DO feel a difference with the Tota Comfort.

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          2. Great!! So you found a bridle that Miss Princess approves of- that’s wonderful! So sorry to hear this one gives rubs too… I’m thinking the very thin summer coat must be part of it, with a little bit humidity etc. Sensitive mare indeed. Sheepskin usually helps a lot, but of course, you can’t line the whole thing in it 🙂 Wondering if it makes a difference with a little shine spray wiped on to the hairs before tacking up? Or just make it worse with all the sweat…

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      1. It looks very comfortable. I bought a new Cliff Barnsby this spring. I’m extremely happy with it. The right saddle makes a huge difference. I don’t feel at home in a western saddle.

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