February 17, 2013

Outdoor Again

I will make this brief, but I want to remember what I figured out during my practice ride in the outdoor today:

Look at that blue sky!  Spring is coming!

- Never give him a chance to give me less than the quality of work I know he can give me; if four good trot strides are all he can give me before he gets distracted by pasturemates and throws his head up, accept three good trot strides and bring him back down to a good quality walk before asking again.  Eventually it will be five strides, then half of a circle, then a full 20m circle, etc.
- If he's not paying attention, give him something to pay attention to every few strides.
- Remember to use the tools in my toolbox (turns on the forehand/haunches, rein-back, shoulder-in, leg yields, etc) rather than tensing up through my shoulders in an effort to make him soften and yield.

I think with a green horse, like with a dog, they'll revert back on things they already know how to do when placed in a "new" location, and that's what I'm experiencing with him in the outdoor.  Just have to persevere and figure him out, then I'll get good stuff out of him like I did at the end of today.

They moved the Dressage ring that is usually in the grassy field into the outdoor in order to practice for a show this weekend.  It looks so classy like this.


  1. Ha, count yourself lucky. Our outdoor is a skating rink right now! But, I was definitely thinking of your work with Connor bullying you after my lesson today. I think we're in that stage now.

  2. Oh I do, it had thawed just enough by the time I rode today. What's Oliver doing to bully you? After my trainer pointed it out and helped me fix it, it was a big turning point in our partnership, I hope it's that way for you too.

  3. Love this post, it's so true and also some really good advice :)

  4. Mostly spooking to get out of work, trying to tell me he can't both be round and move forward at a non-snail-like pace, or tell me he can't possibly flex both left AND right. I definitely feel like we're kind of at a turning point though.

  5. Majestic again for another schooling show, some of the more educated horses this time instead of the green beans.

  6. What works with Riva one day may not work the next - but like you, I keep gathering more tools in order to try something else. One day they will grow up :)

  7. Love this post - it so sums up how Ginger and I work too. Just wanted to say you guys are looking fabulous as well!

  8. So true about letting them build what they're able to do. :) In December, Cuna could give me 4 or 5 balanced trot strides and he lost it if I asked him for any forward.

    Now? :D We're contemplating our lengthenings.