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

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What to do... What to do...

Finally got to ride again yesterday! Before I hopped on, I ground drove Jet. He absolutely loveed it and it seemed to help him stretch out his muscles. This might become a regular thing actually! And this is why...

I ground drove him both directions at the walk and trot, and Mary-Kate did aswell. After, I rode him and he was the best he has ever been! I have no idea what it was! Maybe the time off? Maybe stretching him out by ground driving before? Maybe it was cooler out and at night? Who knows.. all I know is that I had a fantastic ride! He has ever felt better! Straight, slow, long and low! He was constantly on the bit and roudn throughout his BODY and not just his neck! He was stretching up underneath himself and engaging his hind end. Never ever has it come together so well. EVER! He was so straight and the quality of his trot was better than it has been. I was impressed for sure!

Mary-Kate hopped on him after me and he was the same for her as he was for me. I haven't had the pleasure to watch my horse be ridden by too many people. When he was going as well as he was for me, I was interested to see how he would do for Mary-Kate. He looked so great! He definitly tested her at the beginning to see what he could get away with but she knows how to ride and put him in his place. She figured him out pretty quickly. Loose contact, let him find where he is supposed to be, guide him if needed, then once he is going well and asks for the contact, pick it up little by little and push him forward to keep it with your legs and seat. She has been doing this type of work with her Standardbred so they worked together really well.

It was fantastic to see and I was so proud! Here is a crappy pic off of my phone of Mary-Kate and Jet. He was bending around a corner and was a little to the inside still but he was round liek this the whole time!

Today we went to Hobby Horse and rode in the ring. Jet was one sided and only wanted to bend one way at the trot. I think his left side it stiff and he is having trouble bending right because his left side is tight. We will do more suppling and stretching before for sure. We did a few short canters each direction, popped over a crossrail maybe 5 or 6 times, trotted over some ground poles, took him for a walk in the field, then cantered him in the big field. We had lots of walking breaks and he never got extremely hot. We cantered down the long side twice and I got a nice canter out of him! Not a gallop! After I let him loose and we went! I just wanted a fast trot but he broke into the canter. Once I kicked him a little harder than I should have and he let me know he was not happy by kicking out. I'm still worried that something is wrong. It isn't a happy-go-lucky buck like my Aunt guessed. His ears are pinned when we canter. He isn't happy. Something is wrong. Hopefully we will get the chiropractor out here soon.

That being said, we may skip Clover Valley for the groundpole jumpers this Monday and instead go to Flatlands Equestrian Center to do an Intro Test in September. Maybe both? Not sure yet...I will find out tomorrow!

-Emily and Jet

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