Monday, October 27, 2008

This week

I wasn't able to get out over the weekend, due to having a workshop to assist at work.

On Sunday I stopped by after work and brought Drifter in from the far corner of the field. Apparently when the herd of horses travels out to the far field they often don't come in for days. I cleaned her up and dealt with some tick bites she had. I didn't feel it fair to ask her to carry me after having several days off, so I worked her on the lunge in side reins. She did some really nice work at WTC. I would like to see her taking a more consistent contact with the side reins on, but really that was probably the first time I have used them with her in a bridle. I used them once or twice previously with the cavesson, but the alignment wasn't good, so I stopped using it. She carries herself pretty nicely and moves out well. I worked on some transitions into canter to help her make them smoother and less rushed. She still squirts off into a running trot then breaks or falls into the canter. At least she is trying though.

Today, I rode Drifter in the outdoor ring. I focused on maintaining the trot and some canter work in a bigger space. It went well overall. She gets sweaty pretty quickly, letting me know that she is working very hard with some light riding. She is 5 months along now with a pretty big belly and I think the canter work with me on her is pretty challenging. She does give it a good try though when asked.

Monday, October 20, 2008


We cantered today!

First I reviewed the cantering concept with Drifter on the lunge line. Then we repeated the same under saddle.

The good news: we have breaks! We cantered in both directions and on both leads

The other news: we don't have power steering yet. She was very fast, but it felt safe. She just didn't have great steering. Cantering alone in the ring only for now. I think it's hard balancing for three!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

First real bath

Drifter got her first real bath on Tuesday. She was really good being cross tied in the wash stall. I finally got to scrub her with soap and wash her mane and tail. Afterwards I show sheened her main and tail and braided her tail to help keep it clean. I think one more nice day and another good deep clean would really help.

Today was our #14 ride. She is coming along nicely and her trot is becoming more rhythmic. Here is a short video clip of our trot today.

I would like to see her a little more steady in contact and more forward, but I think she is doing really well for this stage. Hopefully, my posture is not as bad as it looks with this tee-shirt on. After her ride in the ring, I took her out and rode her up to the dressage arena- this was her first time walking around the dressage arena and it doesn't have a fence. Of course, this is when the feed delivery truck comes bumping and clattering down the driveway. It was also brisk and windy. Drifter stopped to look at the truck for a long hard moment then walked on as it bobbled by. She was tense, but kept it all together for one lap around. I hope to continue to expand her riding opportunities around the farm.

I also notified her previous owners of the pregnancy, but haven't heard back a response yet. She appears to be gaining weight, by the lack of holes in the girth these days. I am hoping to get/keep her fit enough to ride her throughout the winter. Our next goal is to introduce canter under saddle.

Friday, October 10, 2008

First ten rides

Today we completed ride #10. It happened outside in the outdoor ring. Drifter was very good and a bit more forward outside. She was happy to walk and trot and is coming along very nicely.

I wasn't able to make it out on Tuesday because I had to work late, so we missed a ride this week. Today was the first day I have seen her since Sunday. I think she has gained weight again. She is also getting a soft fuzz on her muzzle as she prepares for winter. She doesn't know that this winter she will be wearing a warm blanket and have plenty of hay.

Our ride on Sunday was good. We worked on maintaining the trot. I am still finding that sitting the trot it producing better results. And FINALLY- I can sit my horses trot! I have a Hanoverian gelding that I have such a hard time sitting his big, bouncy, jarring trot. Her trot is much smoother and smaller.

Tomorrow is spa day. I want to give her as much of a bath as a can and perhaps braid her tail.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Learning as we go

Another ride today.

No vest and no door closed in the indoor.

We did more trotting and working on maintaining gait and transitions. She is a very good girl and coming along nicely. She seems to have taken to ridden work as well as she took to lunging.

I want to come up with a stretch and TTouch routine before our rides that is nice and helpful for her. I just get into a groove and the "get it down" mentality and then I don't go beyond training.

I think today was her 8th ride!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Riding skills improving

Yesterday I rode Drifter in the indoor ring. I lunged her first, just to work her harded then she is going under staddle at this point. We worked at W-T-C, she continues to have difficulty with the right lead canter, but it is improving. Then I got on her. I mounted from the right, which startled her a little again. So, I dismounted and remounted from the left to give her a good experience.

We worked on steering and some speed/gait control. This time we got to TROT! Hooray. She went nicely into the trot with good speed control and balance. She stayed pretty round throughout the transition, only loosing forward momentum on the downward transition.

After trotting in both directions, I dismounted and took her outside. I remounted from a mouting block for the first time. Then I rode her from the indoor ring to the barn. We were outside without a fence or any boundaries and she did great. There were no differences between her affect inside or outside.

On Saturday, I rode with two other horses in the ring! She was very good with the first horse at the walk and trot, both coming towards her and up behind her. However, when the second horse entered the ring- she was puffed up, nickering and not paying attention. She was paying attention to her pasturemate in the ring with her! I worked to keep her walking and paying attention to me. I did have to dismount one time when she got her tongue over the bit. I remounted in the ring on the right side and she startled a little bit, but the two other horses were both moving around at the same time. I hope to have better experiences with riding her with other horses in the coming days. She did really well with one horse that she didn't know, but two horses (one her pasture mate) was a real challenge.

She is really coming along under saddle at this point though. She is moving off my leg aids, moving away from my leg aids and her sterring is improving.