Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
Click on Logo (Original artwork by Lanie Frick for Messick Quarter Horses. Not permitted to be copied)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Arena Work on the Last Day of Training

Tammy ( came on Friday for her 2nd lesson and to take Windy home after her 2 week “Spring Tune-up”. I worked on supple-ing (sp) Windy, getting her to start to collect and to stay collected at the trot and lope. Tammy also wanted me to get her to side pass better and to stand at different obstacles to mount.

First, let me say, we woke to a winter wonderland! (See previous blog post). At 7 am, we had 4” of a very wet snow, hanging onto the tree branches. We are glad that it was wet, because by 10, the driveway and sidewalks had melted, even though the temp was in the mid 30’s. By noon, the snow was almost gone! Tammy came at 1, and there was very little snow. Actually, the temp wasn’t that bad, and when we rode, we had to take off our winter coat. Geez, winter coat at the end of March!

I rode Windy first, showing Tammy what I had worked on during this past 2nd week. I showed her how to keep Windy traveling straight, how to keep her shoulders up, and how to travel in a circle, with a slight bend in Windy’s body, starting with the head. I ask a horse to travel with the jaw tipped back towards the point of the horse’s shoulder, without a bend in the neck.

Once I trotted and long trotted Windy some, and worked the collected trot at both speeds, we moved up to the lope. Windy takes a lot of leg to stay collected and loping, as she is still building up stamina for this. She has come a long way in 2 weeks, as her body, and her mind, can work the whole hour, staying in frame and staying collected. I showed Tammy how to stop and roll back to the outside to help to hold Windy up and not leaning into the circles.

We worked on 2 tracking (half pass), side passing, and forehand turns, asking that hip to move both directions. We walked the logs, and worked on side passing both direction.

When Tammy rode, we worked mostly on the trot. Everything goes back to the basics, and Windy rode well at the walk and the trot. Tammy circled her, serpentined, and reversed directions. Riding small and large circles. Changing directions smoothly.

As we moved up to the lope, we will continue to work on keeping Windy collected. We cooled down with working the logs, and standing quietly at the dismount.

I am very happy with Windy’s progress in 2 weeks. I am really pleased that Tammy is happy with the results. I look forward to helping Tammy during lessons!

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