To ride dressage is to dance with your horse, equal partners in the delicate and sometimes difficult work of creating harmony and beauty.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Steady baby steps

That's what I feel Horton and I are taking together, and I'm a happy woman! I sense a major shift in his attitude, and believe "remedial lunging" is behind us (the line is still in the arena, though, just in case).

Today I did lunge him in a surcingle and side reins, though. Yesterday when I rode, I asked for – and got! – canter both directions, but the right lead was a real struggle. It took lots and lots of urging for him to finally pick it up – and then he'd lose it within a stride or two. Well, that was the first time. He picked up the right lead canter four times, and each time he held it for a few strides longer, but it was clearly a challenge. So today I wanted to be able to watch for clues to a solution while he worked, hence the lunging.

There were no waving red flags, just a horse that is a little less balanced and strong when circling to the right. I was very encouraging and he honestly tried to comply with all my commands. In fact, he was such a good boy that when we were done lunging, I stripped off everything but the bridle, led him over to the arena fence (where he stayed close enough for the first time!), and slipped on him bareback. I finished cooling him out at the walk, asking him to reach down and flex his neck and poll from side to side.

So it has been a momentous week already – and it's not yet half over!


Laura said...

Yay for Cohort. I'm about ready to turn Tang into the bottom section (have to move some fence and posts), so she can clear it off. This will become the "arena" in the future.

Off to feed said ground clearing being... I hear her calling!

thecrazysheeplady said...

I am thoroughly enjoying your training log!!!

sylkan said...

Way to go, Michelle! He looks like he is getting muscled up in good places. Much prettier than when he came to you. I so enjoy seeing your photos of Horton. Have a ton of fun with this pretty weather. Fall and rain are in the air. A whole string of geese flew over just now, honking away.

Michelle said...

If she knew clearing that area off was going to result in having to go to work, she might just go on a hunger strike! ;-)

Michelle said...

Thanks, Sara; it's nice to know I'm not just talking to myself!

Michelle said...

If the arena weren't so dusty, I'd have Brian try to get some shots of him under saddle. I actually look forward to some rain to settle the dust!