Thursday, June 25, 2009


I rode Sam on Tuesday afternoon and he was full of beans. I tried a few different exercises to settle him down a bit and concentrate on me. At the walk figures of 8 on a 6-8m circle with a lot of bend. Up to trot and same thing but on 10 - 12m circles. Out onto a 20m circle and really pushed him out and bought him back over and over. Back to walk then walk - trot transitions. A bit of a canter and back to walk. He was very forward for Sam and really didn't settle and listen until Sarah had finished riding Benny and left the riding area. Then I was able to get some nice, softer work out of him.

What I realised about myself is that not once did I get angry or upset. I just kept going and ignored the behaviour that I didn't like. I used to be one of those people who would yell, pull, jab on the reins if the horse didn't do what I am wanted him to do. I have noticed that especially since I got Sam that I have calmed down a lot. I now have what people call 'patience' I try very hard not to react angrily when things don't go my way. I keep my cool and just keep asking. Maybe change the way I am asking but I ignore the bad behaviour. Don't get me wrong, I have gotten angry with Sam but nothing compared to what I used to and mainly more on the ground when he walks through me!

So what did a I figure out from that ride:
  1. I need to learn more exercises to get Sam to listen to me
  2. I need to work Sam around other horses a lot more often to get him used to it
  3. Sam can go forward and his movement feels like it really improves when he is really forward
  4. I am improving!
Wednesday I unfortunately had to go to the solicitors so I only got to see Sam for half and hour. Feed, rug, clean the paddock and of course lots of kisses and scratches and cuddles!

This afternoon I wasn't feeling very motivated so I thought I would lunge him and work on him listening to me with transitions. He was really good. A bit slow at walk to halt but by the end of the work out (20min) he was really on cue with all his upward transitions and on his canter - trot transition. He even gave me a walk - canter transition!!!! I didn't ask for it but he gave it and continued on in a sensible canter!

I don't really like Sam playing up a lot on the lunge and try to stop it where I can. He only bucked three times and that was in the beginning going into canter. He also was really starting to stretch down in the trot and for a bit in the canter. Nose nearly on the ground. I noticed his inside ear was fixed on me. I don't use side reins. I personally don't really agree with them and I am not confident enough to use them correctly.

Even with all out natural horsemanship work and when you ask them to halt they are to turn towards you - Sam picked up to halt out on the circle and in the way we were going on the fourth try! He then kept halting out there nicely. I was really chuffed at that.

I have been doing a lot of walking in hand and using my hand just behind the girth to ask him to move off the pressure. That is coming along really well. It is also coming a lot better in the saddle with him moving away from my leg. Things are working!

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