From racing to riding... the training diary of an off the track Standardbred

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ride 8/28/10 and Decision

Not much has been going on. The weather has been GREAT! Today was cool with not too much humidity. Perfect! We brought the horses up to the ring to dry their feet and walk around. I brought Jet up first and free-lunged him for a bit. He was a wild man! Bucking, galloping, hopping, popping, rearing, ect. After he got his bouncies out, I got his focus back on me and we had a nice session. He moved around my body position and I got a nice walk, trot, and canter out of him.

In the early afternoon, I went over to my friend's house and hooked their pony into my harness for Biscuit. We think that their pony may have been driven in the past but we weren't sure. He responded really well! He got nervous and unsure at times but overall it was a productive day. I then watched their friend get on their young horse and go for their first ride off of the lunge line! It was awesome! I took tons of videos! I'm going to make them into a movie for them once I find Mom's cord to her camera that she lost. Grr!

We came back home after, fed the horses, I did the stall, and blah blah. A few hours later I brought him up to the ring. I gave him a nice long grooming session, then ground drove him. We didn't ground drive too long. Just long enough to get his muscles stretched out without him getting tired. Mom then got behind him and tried it out herself. They did great at the walk but I don't think I've ever seen Mom move as fast as she did when she tried to trot him! LOL! After that, I got back behind him and fixed him. Not that he was broken, but I wanted to get a nice slow trot out of him after Mom was running like a maniac with him!

After that, I tacked him up in his riding gear. We did lots of walking, moving off my leg, circles, ground poles, and our basic warm up. We then did the same thing at the trot. I practiced what I did in my lesson with my Aunt a week ago. I admit it was MUCH harder to do it in our smaller ring but we did it successfully in both directions, moving off my leg both ways. We had some great moments, mostly really good ones, and no bad ones! He was on the bit and his trot felt different to me. It felt more balanced and like I didn't have to use as much energy to hold him up as I normally do so we are moving in the right direction! During our trot work, I threw in a few short canters (we got once around in each direction once and halfway in both directions several times) to let him stretch and to practice refocusing him after I ask for it. He is getting much better at that! He used to get all amped up to the point where I could barely get him to walk after we cantered. Now, we posting trot, sitting trot, canter, sitting trot, posting trot, then walk. Usually once we get back to the spot where I asked him to canter he gets fast but nothing like it used to be. So proud of him!

I have decided to do both the Jumper show and the Dressage Test. Hopefully I will get some babysitting and work at the farm done between now and the Dressage show. I have enough money to pay for it now but I don't want to be left with $50. Oh well. They both will benefit us in different ways and I'll be happy to do them!

-Emily and Jet

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