Saturday, March 1, 2014

Getting Relaxation and Rhythm

Thursday afternoon, I did not have time to ride (insert sad face) because I had to get ready to go out of town this weekend, but happily there was a little bit of time for me to get Lady out and do some circling - or in other terms, lunging. I'm really trying to work with her on balance, going in a nice frame, and raising the back so that more weight can be put on the hind end/the front end will get lighter.

LINK - This is what I'm wanting to see more of in Lady.
We had about an 15-20 minute session, and at first, I sent her back and forth over a little heap of dirt and then up and down some hills, most to get her mind relaxed and engaged.
Lunging - I started by asking for one lap of the walk, then two laps of the trot, but it wasn't working very well and Lady was getting kind of high-headed again (we were also across the property and out of sight of her pasture buddy), so I decided to count strides instead, which worked a lot better.  The canter is still pretty difficult for her, and at one point she slipped and half-way fell, so we had to trot and walk for several laps before she was confident enough to try the canter again, but when I asked, she gave and it was lovely! I mean, as lovely as a heavy, front-end-loaded canter can be, but she was trying so hard that I took her off the circle and ended the session there. Right now, confidence is what is most important. Once she's confident, the relaxation will come, and with the relaxation, rhythm and balance, and then I'll start to see that back come up and more weight shift to the hindquarters. Take the time it takes, right?

So, in order for me to write consistently on this blog, and also for you to get to know me and my horses better, I put together an equestrian/horse-owner's blog challenge to share, and hopefully somebody else will take it and do it on their blog too so that I can get to know other horse-owners as well! I also love pictures, so I'll be doing one question from the blog challenge every day except Saturday and Sunday, when I'll be doing the 30 Day Equestrian Photo Challenge.  I'll be starting this on Monday when I get home again.

Equestrian/Rider's 30 Day Blog Challenge
1) What was your most recent fall from a horse?
2) What is your pet peeve about riding, especially when watching others ride?
3) How do your family and friends feel about horses and riding?
4) Who is your equestrian "idol" or favorite person to watch?
5) What is your ultimate horse-related goal?
6) Describe your equine facilities.
7) Describe your dream equine facilities.
8) List all your tack and equipment, including colors and brands, etc.
9) What would be your dream saddle and tack?
10) What is your favorite horse book? Movie?
11) Tell about your grooming bucket and grooming routine.
12) What would be your dream trailer? Post a link.
13) Do you wear a helmet? Should others?
14) Who has been or still is the most influential person on your riding?
15) Who is your favorite riding buddy and why?
16) What would your dream horse be like? Find one for sale and post the link.
17) What is your favorite thing about your horse?
18) Post your favorite picture of your horse.
19) What is your favorite thing/exercise to do with your horse?
20) Your riding habits. Tell about 2 strengths and 1 weakness.
21) Post a good side-view photo of your horse. Critique his conformation.
22) What do you feed your horse?
23) Bareback riding. What do you think?
24) What kind of treats do you use for your horse?
25) Is your horse shod or barefoot? Why?
26) How many horses have you owned in the past? Which was your favorite?
27) What riding discipline are you in? What would you like to do?
28) Groundwork? What and how?
29) What "barn pets" do you have?
30) What has been your greatest equestrian success?

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