Thursday, July 23, 2009


I started out today in Werther's stall doing carrot stretches. He is getting much better at the side to stretches, but he still has a hard time holding the low stretch. It was really nice tonight so I rode Werther in the outdoor. I got on and thought about making Werther march off right away, like he did after Sarah got on him in my lesson on Tuesday. Werther didn't respond to my calf, so I tapped him with my whip and he broke into the trot, I brought him back down to the walk and he lost about half of the energy we had gained. I spent some time trying to get a really forward walk and maintain the longer frame we worked on in my lesson. Again I struggled with the either or, I kept getting my frame or the impulsion. Rather than have both be poor quality the whole ride, I decided to focus on the impulsion. If I can just establish the impulsion I need and have Werther keep it, then I won't have to work as hard. Once I got a decent walk, I moved on the the trot work. He was especially resistant to maintaining impulsion in my circles, he really wanted to use them as an excuse to die out on me. By the end of my trot work I was getting some quality impulsion with a nice frame, but it took way to long to get there. In the canter transition I really focused on keeping my outside hand down and I had some nice transitions. I started out the right and I had a swap while I was playing with my rein contact, figuring out what I need. Werther's canter to the right felt very put together and his neck felt pretty straight, but I struggled to get the amount jump I needed. When I switched to the left lead I had the opposite problem. Werther had awesome impulsion but I was really struggling to package him. I felt like I could get each rein to work independently, but I was struggling to get them to work in sync. I feel that I was relying too much on my inside rein to steer, which should not be happening. Then when I softened that rein, I wasn't sitting deep enough to back up my outside rein with my inside leg, so I struggled with my steering. I finished up by letting Werther walk and catch his breath, then I did his neck stretches, and some steps of turn on the forehand to stretch out his hips. His turn on the forehand was really good today, even with my left leg. Werther is such a smart horse, I think he is really starting to understand what I want, even with my weaker leg. It gives me hope for the impulsion issue, if he can understand my left leg when I want a turn on the forehand, he can certainly understand when I want him to go forward. I have to be more vigilant about not letting him get away with being lazy, ever. He is to learn that it is not on option in his playbook.


Kate said...

Sounds like a really good work session! You are so right about impulsion before frame - I think a lot of people tend to forget that. He does sound like a smart boy!

Nina said...

Sounds like you guys are coming along really well! Just something to think about - I had a massage therapist out to see Sam last week and we were talking about carrot stretches. She said not to do them when you have just caught them. Warm them up first otherwise we can do more damage. I have found Sam a lot better with his stretches if I do them after I have warmed him up or at the end of the ride. Just a thought!!!!!