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

Monday, December 10, 2012


That's what I am; always hunting for clues and gathering information on Horton, trying to figure out what makes him tick/tock/balk. Each bit of data adds to the picture, even if it isn't readily apparent how.

Today's pieces of Horton's puzzle:

1) I tried the "butt tickle" (see yesterday's comments) for the first time since his injections. He tucked his rump, lifted his back – and DIDN'T sashay side to side to avoid a repeat tickle! Tummy tickles were still effective, too.

2) He was very mellow – almost lazy – on the lunge line. He might have worn himself out good yesterday. Or . . . maybe he's sore from using his muscles differently now that he's not falling to the left. Or both.

3) Everything was normal when he was tracking left on the lunge line. But going right at the canter, he repeated a weird little behavior from yesterday. All of a sudden he would clamp his tail and tuck his rump – looking for all the world like someone just goosed him, and he was not at all happy about it! Yesterday he bucked sometimes when this happened; today he just looked on the verge of bucking. I checked his tail both yesterday and today to make sure nothing was caught in it; nada.

4) He continues to carry himself ever straighter on the circle under saddle, and shoulder-in on the circle and down the long side of the arena seemed easier for him than in the past.

5) I contemplated not cantering him to the right under saddle because of #3, but things progressed well and I ended up getting nice canter work both directions. He did pick up the counter canter the first time I asked for the right lead, though – and wasn't inclined to come back to the trot.

6) Oh, and he's backing straighter now, too!

1 comment:

Laura said...

I'll bet he has a different sensation going right at the canter than he's used to, and he's just not sure where it's coming from. Sounds like he's getting used to it, though!