March 9, 2015

Got It!

Ahh!  We got it!

(And as a side note, this is why we didn't make a lot of progress this winter.  I need to be able to quietly figure stuff like this out on my own after my lessons, and I wasn't able to ride consistently enough to do that this winter.  That stops now, this week, now that it's going to be in the 50's and 60's!)

It's probably because he was wearing white boots, a Dressage saddle and a sparkly browband.  #lookingthepart

In our ride yesterday, I worked on exactly what we worked on in my lesson on Saturday.  It took a while, but I finally felt his back and poll lift the way she said it would, and I also felt him carry the movement himself like she said he would.  It didn't last forever, but I felt how to get it and what it was supposed to feel like.  It's much easier to the right than the left.

Foam!  Also notice the lack of goat beard.  Phew, finally got around to that.

Funnily enough, I didn't really "get" either alignment or the right tempo until I asked for a halt too quietly, and he did the exercise at the right tempo and in the right bend (and didn't halt.)  That's how much quieter my seat needed to be in order for him to go the right speed.

"I bring the Dressage skillz, you bring treats, yes?"

I had to really focus on keeping the tempo in my core, which I forgot often, and I also had to keep my outside leg back pretty far to keep the squirrely hind quarters in check.  It feels REALLY far back for my leg which is used to the jump saddle and bareback more than the Dressage saddle.

Training braids actually look really cool from 20 feet above him.

I know we got it, though, because when he was doing it absolutely perfectly, I asked for a halt, and it was a perfectly square halt.  More square than that horse has ever gotten in our 3 year relationship.  And his back went up into the halt instead of down.  I am able to feel so much when you slow it down that far.

I like this new program!
It was almost 50 yesterday, so he got his braids redone and his bridle path, ears, and goat beard clipped.  As soon as it is above 50, the mane pulling will begin.  That's going to be a long, multiple day process.


  1. Moar sparkly browband photos! :)

    1. Unfortunately you really can't see it under his massive amount of forelock, even though I moved his bridle path closer to his ears!

  2. The pic from above him is wicked cool!

  3. super exciting - sounds like he is really figuring it out! i really like the idea behind that exercise - and it reminds me of what one trainer told me to do: slow the walk down to almost halt but maintain rhythm. it was super hard tho and i haven't tried it much bc it got my mare so flustered... but now i want to try again haha!

    1. It's worked out well. I'm excited to expand upon it. I feel like if I drill it too much, he'll get bored/frustrated.

  4. It's the best when things click! Slowing down is sooo important... I'm glad you guys are taking the time to make it happen.

  5. It sounds fantastically awesome - he has an adorable face!

  6. Congratulations! I love those ahah moments :)

  7. Replies
    1. If only it were that easy. :) It's one step on the road toward becoming one!