Sam had Wednesday off after our lesson on Tuesday. I thought we deserved that! On Thursday we only rode in a halter. We hadn't done that for a long time and Sam gets sick of his flat work very quickly. I think he enjoyed the change and I did a lot of ground work to start with. I worked on him going sideways but not forward and sideways! Does this make sense? I put a trot pole on the ground and it took a while but in the end he got it. We couldn't do the whole length of the trot pole but we got about half way.
Friday we had off so I rode this afternoon. I warmed him up on a very loose rein in walk, trot and canter. He wanted to reach down in the trot and canter which was nice. Then I started to collect him up and he was very light. I am finding now that he is very light in your hand but still hates moving off the right leg. He got that upset this afternoon he broke into a canter. I know that doesn't sound like much but for Sam that requires a lot of effort so I backed off a bit and did some leg yielding on the long side. I really have trouble getting him to move off it without speeding up or going to outside bend. I have noticed that he has trouble picking up that canter lead as well. He does it but it is obviously difficult for him. I know horses are one sided but I wonder if Bowen Therapy, Chiropractic work, physio, massage would help this? If I was in Sydney then I would get my osteopath to have a look at him. Bit difficult from Townsville!!!! (Sydney is about 2500km from Townsville!)
Interesting ride because when I backed off a bit and asked for a little bit longer and lower work and did this on a lot of serpentine's, it was easier for him. I have to also try all this so when we go out for our comp I know what to do and how to settle him in our warm up.
I find walk, trot transitions help him a lot to start to focus on me and listen to what I am asking. Then changes of pace in trot really gets him listening, he is tense but listening, then I can start incorporating long and low work. Sarah and I are taking the horses out to Blue Water tomorrow morning. This is a huge riding area about 20km North of Townsville. We are going to work them first and them take them for a long walk through the hills and little tracks. This should help me figure out what I can do to get Sam to concentrate on me and relax.
Sam really is a character. On Thursday after my ride I left him out to have a pick while I went and cleaned his paddock. It takes him about 10min to realise he is by himself and he couldn't see any of the other horses. I hear him galloping around and whining so I call out and head back over to get him. He was in the far corner when I got to the gate saw me and galloped over whining! He got to the gate reared and bucked! Now I have no problems with him galloping over and I understand the rear and buck is out of excitement and joy but he isn't allowed to do that near me. After a stern "Sam" he quickly dropped his head to my shoulder and followed me over to his halter. I held out the nose part and he put his head down and through and was more than happy to follow me out. I though I would put him back in his paddock while I continued to clean it but there is a little pick outside his paddock so I left him out there while I continued. He was happily munching away when one of the other horses took off in their paddock. Sam's head went up, I stern "Sam" from me and his head went down again. I was so chuffed. I don;t expect this to happen ever again but I hope it was because I said something that he didn't trot off to investigate!
Well I will let you know how tomorrow goes (good float practice for him and me) and I hope to get some photos! Happy riding!