Here is another link of someone I have seen who rides quietly.
I guess the correct term would be "with proper equitation".
That is one of my goals as a rider, so today when I rode I tried to analyze what the heck it is I am doing.
Now I know.
But first let me back up just a hair.
You see, the horse in that other video, she is for sale. If you have not watched the video, please go back and do so now....I'll wait.
Okay, so if you saw my comments on youtube under the video you know now that I have contacted this gal about buying this horse.
(I wonder how many of you are thinking....you don't have time for the horses you have!- and you are right, luckily this is not a young horse who needs constant training and riding every day.)
I was sick on Saturday so did not go to the clinic. I knew Friday I was not going to make it, because I felt like crud then too.
However by Sunday I did feel better, and so I did make the trip down to see Miss Melody, the mare.
When I arrived the gal was just finishing up with a sorting practice and the mare was a little wound up. Not like fire breathing dragon wound up, just a little hot. She put her through her moves, then hopped off (with perfect grace) and asked if I wanted to ride her.
This mare is quite tall. I really had to haul myself up to get on her, about like Killian I guess. And we set off in cute little circles around the arena.
Now I know what it really feels like to ride a horse that is truly soft in the face. My horse is not soft yet. He is getting there, but he isn't there yet.
Now I know what it feels like to ride a horse that truly understands and accepts what leg cues are. With this girl, it is all leg. The owner kept having to tell me, "Ride her one handed!"
I squeezed gently with my legs and we were trotting, another slight squeeze and she had the sweetest little lope I have ever felt in my life. All I had to do was sit there....
...and I was riding quietly.
Yes ladies and gentlemen we have a winner!
I fumbled around with asking for a lead change, a couple of times I got it right, most of the time I did not, and in spite of me, she figured out what I wanted and gave it to me. She was a very patient horse.
Then I asked the gal how to do the spin. I will admit to being a little bit nervous.
I should not have been. Melody took fantastic care of me.
"Drop your hand, push with the outside leg."
Then I heard, "Release your legs!"
So I did and wham! We stopped. Then we went the other direction. This time I did not need help.
I rode her around a little more. In all that time, there stood TC with not one but 2 phones that take video. I finally asked him to take some video and he did. The only video he actually got was one of us standing there and even then he cut our heads off.
I am in love.
She will be mine and I will learn much from her, and I will hopefully be able to transfer that from her to Trax and Sassy...and maybe even Killian. Right now I am trying to move heaven and earth to make this happen.
In the mean time, I went back to riding my boy. He is a good boy and he is trying really hard....except when he isn't.
That's okay, at least he is trying some of the time.
His new favorite thing is long trotting while collected. I have not yet decided if he likes showing off his skills, or if he likes it because it is as close as he is allowed to get to loping.
Not that I never lope him, but I never lope him for very long. Anyway, he did good today, we struggled with our lead changes, but finally sort of mastered them. I know now that I am teaching him wrong. But I don't know how to get around that yet.
We did side passes, and leg yields and his version of spins, which he is starting to do pretty well as long as I remember to sit down in my seat.
I tried my best to just sit still and ride him, but it just isn't possible. He requires constant manipulation or he just goes off and does his own thing. This true with everything we do except long trotting. I can ask him to hold it, and just ride it out, and hardly move a muscle. I guess that is progress. I can speed him up or slow him down with just a shift in my weight, however walking has become non-existent again, so we went back to "rail classes" where we did lots of walk, trot, extended the trot, lope, trot, walk, and stop. Turn around and do it again. By time we were done he was loping nicely, head down and not chargy at all. We did some stops from the lope, they were fair, not perfect, but decent enough for now I guess.
So that is the key, I can see that now. When my horse is doing his job, I can ride just fine. When he isn't then I am all over the place just trying to keep control of his feet....and brain. This isn't about me not trusting him either. When he acts like a horse I can trust, I do so implicitly. When he acts like he could go either way...well self preservation takes over, and I take control. I think I would be a fool not too at this point.
We did do some ground driving yesterday. I did he and Sassy.
|Sassy being a big girl|
|He never did get quite as nice as he did the|
first time. However, he had been ridden
just a few horse before the first time as well.
|Here he is thinking about it all. |
At one point he kept trying to spin around into the
the long reins. So I let him.
When he finally calmed down, I used my reins to turn him
round and untangle himself.
So, I have much to learn, much to do, the weather is getting warmer now, and I'm less motivated. However the next clinic is in June in Flagstaff, and I would still really like to go. I am developing an understanding about Trax. I am asking him to walk before he as even learned how to crawl yet. I am really start focusing our time together on the basics, and quit worrying about the fancy moves and such. For now, lets just learn how to ride correctly together.