elinor yee
Every Day Training

One Of Those Sick Days

Suddenly couch stuck.

Some cold, or respiratory thing, or some other unnecessary road-block to fun.

Not sure who ordered it.  Sure wasn’t me!  Because I’m stuck at home for a bit, today is another photo bomb.

balancing the canter in the corner

not stepping under in canter

She has both filled out with muscle just a little, and gained some more power on the trot diagonal.  It doesn’t fizz out half way anymore.

increasing tempo in trot on diagonal

gray horse cantering on long side

After babying her for so long with just short periods of sitting trot, it’s time for her to accept working like that too.

Accept is the key word there…  Her go-to move is to immediately resist as long as it doesn’t feel exactly right to her.  If I ever needed a horse teaching a more following seat and hip joint, she’s it.  So, hmmm, thank you?

collecting the trot

Stay well, and have a fun weekend!

elinor yee

cross bred andalusian mare
Every Day Training

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

cantering with new bit
Every Day Training

Gray Mare – Not Giving Anything Away For Free

On her own she’d never come up with the idea of offering a big trot.

Or an elastic one.  Or relaxed.  Or a balanced, willing, and ground winning canter.  That’d be way too easy right?  Every ride, it all has to be created from scratch.  Sometimes it feels like it would be really rewarding if she’d just be offering something voluntarily on her own 🙂

Then again, it’s really interesting to be doing this, to see where she can go. So happy to have her, if hundreds of images of the same horse wasn’t a tip-off.

training with a young horse

Living with other horses has really made her happy.  Screaming to them while under saddle is not welcome though.  As it is strictly Verboten, her latest thing is to let out a looong sort of “under-the-breath” squeal while still continuing work.

Feels like riding a female walrus, or let’s make it seal – more flattering – her back vibrating while she’s making code noises to them.  I should get mad, really, but she’s just so silly.

dressage toward second level

OK, so she’s showed well at Intro, and Training, plus the very first test at First Level.  It’s been my goal from start to bring her to Second Level.  Very lofty ideas!

I have a little bit more help now.  So happy about that!

How fun it would be to work on getting a Bronze Medal with this horse!!

Actually, someone is probably not going to let me hunt scores on their “better trained and higher level” horse, so yes, it’s going to have to be her!

cantering with new bit

keeping horses on pasture without foundering
Every Day Training

When You Meet A Roadblock

Hey can we talk?

Temporary training roadblocks.  What have you done with them?  If short on blogging material, I’d love to read it.

We’ve had a couple of excellent rides, there’s been some OK counter canter on shallow loops along the long side and other small parts are coming together.

horse in spring pasture

In between, some really horrid rides.  Not extremely disobedient or dangerous, that’s not how this mare rolls, just unproductive, nagging, (on my part.) and I end up stuck arguing with her about shoulders instead of riding from the leg and focusing on pushing the hand forward.

I’m smart enough to know not every ride is going to be great.

horses getting fat from grass

The girls, getting wide on pasture.

But I’d love to read your posts on which ever roadblocks you’ve pushed through with your horse, and what solved them in the end.  I think it’d be a really fun read!  Fire away!

keeping horses on pasture without foundering

That’s all from the hill.

coming back to riding after long time off
Every Day Training

Reality Check

8 weeks of not riding.

Not surprisingly, I’m not expecting to pick things up where we left them and go on like nothing happened.  Forget the hand, there are tons of other little muscles that have to wake up too 🙂

Where we left off, at Twisted Oaks Ranch.

coming back to riding after long time off

Nope, won’t be like that for a long time once I start up.

And she’ll still twist like this and bend and do funky things in posting trot to the quarterline.

coming back from injury

That’s alright.  Still miss it.

Miss riding her.

Miss trying to figure out just how to “get it” and then finally staying there for a few seconds here and there.

Miss all of it.

OK, so much better now after telling you.

Back to work!  This is a great, really tight week,  lots to be done!

very loose rein contact
Every Day Training

How Much Leg Tossing Do You Need?

Dressage with a flat mover – maybe not all that exciting.

But how much leg flinging do we need until it’s enough?

I’ve had to settle for a little, eh, less.  So far so good.

If I can eventually create something lively from my cross mare, it will make riding everything else later so much easier.  Her trot is still not all that elastic.  Through her work it has become much more springy (still an overstatement) but it’s smooth to sit and it DOES have life in it.  Once the ugly, reluctant, warmup is over, the hind leg is coming through nice.

very loose rein contact

This was back last fall and she’s gotten better.  Actually riding posting trot on contact is usually a good choice. 🙂

Mostly, I think it’ll be great if we can just get to where she looks smooth and harmonious.  If we don’t get spastic leg hurling with it, fine.


Canter is really coming along.  (Or was, since I’m not riding now.)  I swear she had a two or five beat canter to start.  Impossible?  Not really, it was awkward, or racing.  Now, after fumbling to find the right concoction of extracurricular (extraterrestrial?) training, it’s really developing.

I watched Alexis ride her (Sheesh, such a difficult mare!) and she looked good at the end!  Happy times!

Setting a new record in blurry pictures with another mare, Galana DA, and Alexis schooling.

grey andalusian

Now, this mare can move! 🙂

dressage horse cantering

I know these are terribly grainy images.  Just wanted to show you something from the Somerset arena.  Stay inspired with your regular-moving horses, spring is around the corner!

dressage trot

dressage canter

expressive trot

horses getting cast when rolling
Every Day Training

Shoulder In

If we never practice it, she’ll never get this one down.

If we don’t practice it correctly, it won’t happen either.

If I just avoid it, see above.

So, I’ve just had to get on with it. 

Setting up, on the aids, making sure she’s forward.  Check.

setting up for shoulder in

For this to ever happen, the outside seatbone, hip, shoulders, everything, has to swivel in.  Not straight!  (Or it will be sort of a leg yield version down the long side.)  This is really difficult, when you think you’re doing it, but find out you’re still straight!

leg yield instead of shoulder inThe struggle is real friends.

Monday morning, Valiosa was as sound as ever.  The small tender spot from Friday was history.

I’m leery of letting her roll on the narrower grass spot now though.  Just in case she’d want to cozy up next to the concrete planter again…

horse rolling in pastureAfter a two-day non-stop torrential rain storm she was happy to drop in the first, half-dry, place.

horse rolling in pasture with blanket onSpeed rolling blur.  Yes, it’s a thing.

horses getting cast when rolling