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

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I think we were meant for each other

Wednesday-Friday we did just about the same thing.

Our ride was on average 55 minutes each day. We did a lot of walked at first. Stretching, then bending and moving onto the bit. Lately he has been less willing to move into the bit. He decides that it would be much more fun to stretch his head down and to the side, take the bit away from me, and go where ever he wants. That won't last too long because I will not put up with that.

After walking both directions, we did figure eights, circles, and atwo serpenties to get him moving off my leg and into his corners. He likes to be busy and doing things other than walking in circles so we frequnetly add in something to keep his mind busy.

We then did a lot of trotting work. I don't like to go a lot one way, then a lot the other way an be done. I go a few times one way, then a few times the other way, etc. etc. It helps him become more supple in both diretions in my opinion. If you keep going and going in one direction, won't your horse become "fixed" to moving his body that way around you aids? If you change directions a lot, it shouldn't even matter which way you are going because he should be listening to everything and anything you are asking. I also find that if I do this, he moves a lot nicer and is more willing to go into a frame for a few steps.

So after a lot of trotting, I decided to try a canter. On Wednesday, it took a lot to get him into it and he became to ansy and waiting for the cue to bolt off. So I got it once and ended it on that. Thursday he was sort of expecting it and went right away for about half way around, then broke. We tried the other way and he just isn't ready. Tracking left is a lot easier for him so we will stick to only cantering that way for now. Friday he picked up the transition from the trot, to the canter as soon as I asked. We went around half way and I gave him a huge pat! We went the other way and just worked on trotting. He does a heck of a lot better at the trot after we canter. I am not sure why but he frames him self up without me asking him too and he is up underneath him self more.

After we worked on the trot, we turned around again and I asked for the canter once more. He went right away and we went twice around! It is a HUGE improvement from about a month ago when I tried to ask him for it and he just couldn't do it no matter how he tried. This to me makes me feel very accomplished. He is now balanced enough, atleast in one direction, to canter more than once around. When we got him back, it was not possible to get him into the canter, even though I only tried once. It let's me know that I am doing something right after all (:

After our cantering (and a bunch of hugs, kisses, and cookies!) we took our daily "after-workout-walk" around the street. It is a nice time to take a deep breath and cool down. Anywho. I am very very pleased with how far we have already come. I can't wait until the summer when we can do some more consistant riding!
Oh, does anyone have any comment about the CAIR system for Wintec saddles? I was looking into a Wintec 500 with CAIR and I am debating on whether to get it or not... or does anyone know where to find a nice saddle for $300 or less? :) I know, I'll keep dreaming.

-Emily and Jet