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

Friday, August 13, 2010

What is this? Listening?

Today was a...surprising day! Jet was actually...listening! What a change!

We started off on a loose rein just walking around. I then picked up the contact and made a circle spiral and we did it in and out in each direction. I moved on to the rail and had him go straight, bend around my inside leg on the corners, then straight again. I then asked him to move off the rail with my outside leg and he responded well to that aswell. We did some circles in the corners, figure eights, etc. to help him stretch all of his muscles.

We then worked at the trot and I focused on STRAIGHT and wait. Once I got him straight, I would half halt, gather him up, then ask him to step larger. If his beat changed, I would bring him back and pick him up again. Eventually we were going the same pace, with a bigger stride, going STRAIGHT all the way around the ring! Going his good direction he even got on the bit! He really surprised me for sure!

After going in each direction several times and being satisfied, I worked on turning on the forehand. We have played around with this before but only a step at a time. Today I asked him to go half way around each direction and he did so well! Doing this exercise is helping me figure out how he responds when I ask him to move his hind end. I am finally figuring out where he likes to be asked and where he responds the most, etc. Hopefully this will help for the show on Sunday!

Tomorrow is going to be hectic. So much going on and not just horse-related. I may not get aroudn to posting tomorrow but I'll definately post after the show!

-Emily and Jet

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