Monday, June 29, 2009

Kelli's Visit!

My friend Kelli came out to visit Red and I on Sunday! It's the first time she's seen Red since I've had him. She rode him and got to see some of his quirks and she gave me a few pointers with regard to his training and his vices, which was great. Then she watched me ride and she gave me a hand with my equitation, and boy do I have a lot to work on. Head up, shoulders back, elbows at my side, let my elbows bend, watch my wrists, sit on my rear correctly, don't pinch with the knees, pretend someone is pulling me down by my knees, heels down, ask with my leg and not with my heel... crap I better get practicing!

Joe at TBFriends wanted us to get lots of pictures for him so a few are below. We had a good time and I hope we can do it again soon!

Me trying to get a pic of all 3 of us. Not easy.

Kelli riding Red

Red and I


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Another Dressage Lesson

Well, it was time for another Dressage lesson! Since my last lesson we have worked a lot on leg yielding and it really helped us in this lesson. I needed a reminder on how to properly ask Red to carry himself in the frame he needs to be in. He was been giving me a lot of resistance but I also think I haven't been asking "properly". So it was time for a refresher.

We did a lot of work on my dressage equitation which felt great. Over the past several years, I have ridden several horses and had very few lessons so my equitation has become more of a survival technique rather than proper. We are slowly working on fixing that. Improving my equitation also allowed me to communicate with Red easier. Just a few short minutes into the lesson, Red was going better and I felt better. He's getting there, he gets pieces of what is suppose to happen but is still struggling with the big picture which is fine, he is still very green. What's great though is that he is trustworthy and he enjoys being out and he wants to please.

After the lesson, I walked him over a tiny cross-rail jump the neighbor had. He stepped right over it. I came back over and then asked him to do it at the trot. He snaked a little before the tiny jump but popped right over, and boy does he jump round. I asked him to do it again and he went straight and did it beautifully. He got lots of love and praise after doing it right and that was the end of our day!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer is here!

Red is asking, "is it dead?"

Summer is finally here! Red is so much happier when it's warm rather than when it's cold. Because of the wet spring we had, the mosquitoes are out in full force right now. I must have 20 bites on me. They bite through clothing, even jeans! Red does not like when I spray him with fly spray so we are working on his tolerance to that so he's not eaten alive.

I haven't updated this in a while but we are continuing to improve and work. I was away in Philadelphia for a few days and I also had a procedure done that left me with a few stitches, so the riding was put on hold for a short period of time. We have been working on the basics at the walk such as bending, leg yielding, side passing, half passes, etc. He is doing a pretty good job so far. He is starting to get the concepts, but not well enough to do them at the trot yet.

We went for a ride on the trail the other day and the mosquitoes were awful. Red and I have only walked on the trail so far, but these bugs were so bad we had to get away from them so we had to trot and canter. The good news is that he was fantastic, he didn't take off, he was very controllable, he didn't get track flashbacks, it was great! We also took the trail the opposite direction for the first time (so it was like a new trail) and he trot and cantered past "new" things with only slight hesitation. Only once did I stop and make him go back and see something, a huge pile of old fence, and he touched his nose to it right away.

We have a fun and exciting week ahead. My friend Kelli is coming out from Nebraska on the 28th and we are going to work with Red and she's going to work with me. I may also get a dressage lesson in the middle of the week if things work out.

Until next time!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Red can Jump!

... and he likes it! Every day I work with Red I am happier and happier with him. I think this time next year we are going to be able to compete in some beginner novice events! The dressage I don't worry about with him, the jumping he likes, and he is great on the trail and isn't afraid of much, if anything, so that should help us out on cross country!

I've put the jumping on hold again for now until we get further in our training and until he has a little more of a "break" from being off the track. He obviously likes it and has been introduced to it now so it should be easier when we bring it back in the future!