Friday, February 5, 2010

Improved transitions

My lesson on Wednesday gave me so much to work on that I couldn't help but get back out there to ride the next day!  I usually take Tuesday and Thursday off, but I just felt like there was so much to work on that I couldn't waste the time.  Plus, lessons are expensive and I had better be getting as much out of each one that I can and that means doing my homework!  

Our ride went well overall.  It always takes Boomer a while to warm up physically and mentally.  Generally he is physically ready before he is mentally ready.  So, I like to lunge him for 10 minutes before I get on and then once I start riding I do 5-10 minutes of walking on a loose rein.  From there we collect up and start working at the walk, then up to the trot once he feels supple.  I sort of let him warm up into the ride as we go.  Sometimes he is mentally resistant for longer than other times and today was one of those days.  However, once he let go of the resistance, he was awesome!  He readily stayed down in the bridle, on contact and jaw relaxed.  His halt/walk transitions were really great today.  We even got a string of trot transitions that were really incredible.  We did halt/walk/trot in lots of combinations and he stayed soft and on the bit the whole time!  He didn't raise his head up once through this particular string of 6-8 transitions.  I could really feel him lifting himself through the transitions.  We were going on small and large circles as well as riding the diagonal.  I did notice that he is much more resistant to give to the left and I could sometimes feel the tension growing in my arm and shoulder but he still wouldn't give.  In those cases, I just took him into small circles and that usually helped.  If not, I would work him either to the right or just with a right bend until he gave and then straighten him back to going left. 

It is so cool to already see such an improvement in our riding!  It is so motivating!


Shanster said...

Yay for you! Sounds like a really great ride and you are so good to do your homework! It's the fun sort of homework vs. something like MATH. Ewww. :)

Heather said...

I love horsey homework! I've been riding a lot more since I moved to the new barn and started lessons! Math just doesn't motivate in the same way! :)

txtrigger said...

I had no idea they ended up doing the article! Dang it, I want my magazine! I have a large on on Hank and I in the current Trail Blazer too.