Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

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Moutaineer
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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Mon Nov 27, 2023 1:01 am

Blob, I know its hard, but if you live and ride for long enough, you are bound to have those years. It is discouraging, but at some point in the future you can look back and realize that there was something positive to be learned.

I'm not calling this year anything yet... there's another few weeks to go!

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby exvet » Mon Nov 27, 2023 2:54 pm

I'm going to call my year = character building. I've had to face that Junior likely won't solidify the flying changes until we are performing all of the other GP movements well enough to compete. Still I feel that we have made some significant improvement. I also had my ass handed to me on a silver platter by a panel of well respected judges telling me I really needed to improve my position and efficacy of my aids. It was/is all true. I have a plan in place. On the Brandon front, well, what can you say. He's a very nice mover, a typical Morgan and not fully subscribed to the dressage program. He's closer but still a long way away and we've started dealing with physical issues. I rode him three days in a row, the third just light trailer riding. The first two days he was awesome. Then I take him to a lesson yesterday (4th day under saddle) and he was a total pig. Not naughty at all but just 150% behind the leg. No obvious physical issues or reason for the behavior. He's always been in front of the leg unless he was scared. That certainly did not seem to be the case but who knows. The peanut gallery wanted me to have a come to Jesus moment with him and I knew/know that would not have been productive. He's a horse that I can draw the line with but only if I know that I can win and honestly he usually does give in if I show him the way so I think he'll needs some more exploration to determine why the out of character behavior - more physical issues? emotional/disposition issues? who knows. He does have a stone bruise but has been very sound on soft/giving surfaces so maybe he is as my daughter says, 'just a princess' and the stone bruise backed him off. The peanut gallery did say I had the best trot every on him (demanded the most forward evah.. if he wouldn't give it to me in the canter). He's due for a trim in 2 weeks so I'll see what my farrier thinks. I was instructed to take him home and work him in hand later in the day yesterday. I did and he was very good.........geesh horses will keep you on the emotional roller coaster.

Aleuronx some pretty impressive stuff, congrats.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby khall » Mon Nov 27, 2023 4:13 pm

This year it’s definitely been steady progress with some milestones for Joplin. First time out at 2nd level was a success and first time in a stadium arena=no issues for my girl. Also having some lightbulb moments riding Joplin and having to set the parameters for her to step up to. Joplin has some mild protest but once she understands just wow. Me it’s about fitness and weight loss (down 18 lbs).

The other is Gaila’s pregnancy. She’s quite the rotund mare these days!

2024 who knows! I’m hoping weather permitting to host Cedar 5 times and host WE clinic twice. Already have WE first dates in March.

Showing next year is up in the air. Again we will see. Definitely would be haul in for the day only still.

I did purchase the manola Mendez video special from Jillian. Curious to watch him. Not sure if it will be helpful

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby StraightForward » Wed Nov 29, 2023 4:31 pm

Aleuronx, thanks for the tip on the quarter sheet. I will have to put it on my wish list!

I'm not sure what to call this year, but overall it has been a good one. Maybe Growth? Annabelle has shown herself to be quite the adorable, honest little hunter prospect. Tesla has really grown up mentally and we've worked through some issues to really make improvements. I've made progress on my fitness and position in the saddle, and got to ride with some new teachers in the last few months. Didn't really get out to show "for real" but feel like we've been steadily laying the foundation.

Last night I was surprised to see the outdoor arena being worked when I arrived after work, just as it was getting dark. It was below freezing, but I took the opportunity to put T in the jumping saddle and her hackamore and do some big forward work outside. She was quite cooperative with riding diamonds with ToH, SI, HI and ToF in walk and trot, and seemed to be enjoying herself. I think I'm feeling more power in the canter transitions, and she isn't having quite as much of a struggle with her right lead. Doing lots of LY to work on suppling the hips; she seems to have the hardest time right to left in walk, even in-hand, but gets more supple with work, so we will keep at it.

Annabelle was a good girl too, playing a little with half steps and some bits of working canter piri. Started playing a bit with giving her the idea of neck reining. I don't think it will be too hard since she already knows the seat and leg aids well.
Keep calm and canter on.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Sat Dec 02, 2023 6:21 am

I've had a bit of a difficult week health-wise, and I've also had a couple of major work deadlines but I did make it to the barn today and had a nice, if a little briefer than I would have liked, ride before I ran out of air. Potters was very kind to me...

I do have to say that my diligent out of the saddle work on developing my core and balance is really paying off and is being noticed by my trainer. Wahoo!

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby exvet » Sat Dec 02, 2023 4:15 pm

Well we moved up to the higher elevations and cooler weather in order to get out of the scalding Phoenix heat. It's a success. Ice on the water buckets (I also have heated water buckets thankfully), frost on the ground, very wooly ponies and the best part ........Junior has a real hand gallop! Even better, he is having so much fun opening up his stride and finding that shoulder reach. I have totally different ponies here :)

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StraightForward
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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby StraightForward » Sat Dec 02, 2023 4:31 pm

WOW, I have interested buyers scheduled to come today AND tomorrow, so I go to the barn last night and Annabelle has a substantial scrape on her LH and leg is swollen. I'm guessing she took exception to her new neighbor and kicked the fence. She looks sound on the lunge, but was not right under saddle, especially at the canter. Took some very lame steps after I cantered her, so I got off, picked out her feet and threw her back on the lunge. She looked fine again. She got some Previcox, I kinesiotaped the leg and put on a standing wrap. I'll head out here in a few minutes and see how she looks today so I can decide what to do. The people scheduled for tomorrow are the same ones I had to cancel on because she stopped eating, so I imagine if I cancel again they will be all done. The person today is more local, so maybe she'll come out anyway, even if riding isn't on the books. I'd say she heard me talking, but I made both of these appointments on Thursday and didn't even go to the barn that day. Mare has ESP and no plans to go anywhere, apparently.

Good ride on T though. I picked a bit at a scab of her not going honestly forward into the bridle, or just getting a little too high-headed and pushing through with her shoulders. One benefit of being stuck in the indoor is we do have a few mirrors that reminded me I need her neck lower than I think, at least until she has the strength to stay up in the shoulders and telescope up and out. I did really get her back up a few times using some SI and voltes, making sure she doesn't cheat and go wide behind. Having the bodyworker back on Monday to check and readjust, then my instructor is trying to put one more visit in this week, so hopefully we'll get three lessons in and really figure out a strategy for winter.
Keep calm and canter on.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby Flight » Sat Dec 02, 2023 9:27 pm

Oh Annabelle! You might have to resign yourself to keeping her!
Exvet you know your horses so good that you didn't get stuck into him. I remember stopping in the middle of a dressage test because my horse didn't feel right, the judges couldn't see anything and then 2 days later hopping lame with an abscess.
Alueronx, Kora is going so well!

I'm a bit done for this year, sometimes it feels like when things aren't going well, the universe piles more on. I'm trying not to think of it like that so as not to attract more bad luck. We've had a run of crappy things, and the latest thing was I fell off the young horse, I just gave him a fright and then I got a fright and then it escalated and I fell off. So stupid. But I don't know if I've busted a rib, but wow for the first 2 days it was incredibly sore. I nearly had to cut my tshirt off to have a shower the next day. I'm a bit soft so maybe it's just muscular. I did see the GP who said no point having a chest xray and to take some anti inflamms.
Fortunately or unfortunately, I've had a week of leave booked in so I"m not at work. With the meloxicam and paracetamol I can still manage a bit of riding.
Ding's been a bit lame, had a deep pocket of thrush next to his frog, but is improving. I miss riding him, especially now when I'm a bit sore.
My instructor swears my saddle is pinching Norsey and that's why he's not developing under the saddle. My saddle fitter swears it's fine. I did watch some saddle fitting vids and I"m inclined to think it is not the right fit. Sigh! I feel an expense coming up that is bad timing.
Anyway, whinge over. I've been watching some Karen Rolfe vids while i'm mostly on the couch this past week. If there's any other suggestions for good horsey viewing, I'll take it!

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby StraightForward » Sun Dec 03, 2023 4:25 am

Well, managed to get Annabelle shown today after all. I quite like this lady, and she could learn a lot from Miss A. She seems interested, but we'll see.

Per a thread on CotH, I bought a PosturePrep curry and have used it on T the last couple days. She is definitely tight around her gaskins, and to say she loves the PP is an understatement. She'd have me work on her until my arms fall off. I think her canter today was mostly quite true, but it was slow and she was dropping out of it. Hopefully we're on the right track and she just needs to build up over time. Finished with a little play on half steps. After reading an article about shivers the other day, I did some RB in front of the mirror, and I'm confident that she doesn't have that pattern when backing up. I'm going to keep on with the PP, there are some methods working around the scapula and hamstrings/gaskins that seem like they could help her with some of her tight areas. Will follow up with taping and see if we can loosen things up a bit.
Keep calm and canter on.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby StraightForward » Mon Dec 04, 2023 9:06 pm

Bodyworker was out today and got Annabelle adjusted and lasered her leg. She is scheduled for a PPE on Friday, so fingers crossed and I'm trying to keep her in shape and not have anything else happen before then. I think she liked the buyer though, and will hopefully knock it off with these random problems so she can go enjoy the life of a lower-level schoolmaster.

Tesla had tension around her TMJ, more on the right than left. I could feel it, so that is something I can check on my own, and something I suspect would respond to taping. Overall, she said she was much better than last time and she was "being picky" with the adjustments, and gave me some ideas for taping to free up her back and encourage her to stay more even in the hips.
Keep calm and canter on.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Tue Dec 05, 2023 4:48 am

I sneaked out and watched Mike Osinski teach a clinic this afternoon. I'm always happy to go to one of these things and pick up the odd useful nugget or have my own understanding solidified--and see if this is a person I would like to work with given the opportunity.

I liked him a lot. I'd be happy to ride with him. He's kind but effective in his approach to both horses and humans. Significant improvements in each pair that I watched. And I got a couple of useful things to take back to my riding.

Fingers crossed for you and Annabelle for the PPE, SF. Do you have a large roll of bubble wrap?

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby khall » Wed Dec 06, 2023 4:20 am

Well our last Cedar clinic was a success! Bless Cedar she drove down Wednesday evening after work getting in around 12:30 am to teach 9 rides Thursday trying to beat the rain. Was supposed to have 3 days of soaking rain and I have no covered arena. Ends up the weather was just a few light showers go figure.

I do so enjoy hosting and the camaraderie we all have throughout the weekend. The entire clinic experience is just great fun. And I was absolutely stoked about Joplin who continues to step up every lesson. Spectacularly. We are now working on sideways stuff in the canter. Emphasis on getting her more upright in her work she at first just wanted to blow forward when I put my leg on her but with a bit of schooling she accepted the harder work. Love this mare! We also worked on piaffe US. Have not done much with Cedar present. More by myself but Joplin stepped up to one handed piaffe so I could use my shorter dressage whip lower down on the leg. Beautiful work

I’ve got a bit of piaffe in hand. Really working on the straightness in the movement. Especially in this video yielding off the left really n down to the LH

https://youtu.be/EvuWrIQRoUs?feature=shared


And some CC work. Canter is changing so much.

https://youtu.be/3jbLgDbIGG8?feature=shared

Content

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Chisamba
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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Fri Dec 08, 2023 1:19 pm

My horses and riders are still being drilled on basics. Kimba is solid, Saiph is having to learn a few things relating to basics that were apparently not truly established .

I have found that my mis range to good riders are really getting a good feel because I am focusing dough on had position, leg position, eyes and posture.

It's very muddy. Frankly I wish it would freeze. They feel is we have 2 inches of rain expected this weekend.
I'm feeling festive tho.

Hope everyone is well and happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby StraightForward » Sat Dec 09, 2023 2:04 am

Annabelle's PPE went well today. I waited in the truck, so I don't know what all they looked at, but the buyer said "flying colors" and she is very excited. Her friends told her they'd be mad if she didn't buy Annabelle, lol. She's a small animal vet and just wants an all-arounder she can learn from and enjoy, so I'm very happy. We'll get it all finalized on Sunday as long as A doesn't figure out something ridiculous to do in the next 42 hours.

Had a nice ride on T after getting back from the vet. She seems to be loosening up in her back and LY is getting more even both ways. I introduced some T/H/T transitions, and then asked for a nice controlled canter and got some really nice steps. At the end I even did a little ask for half steps and could see in the mirror she started folding up those hind legs. Yesterday we hauled out and she was pretty fired up, so we had a longer ride, then she got lots of admiration from onlookers at the end. I'm looking forward to having more time to pour into her and am excited to see where we'll be in six months!
Keep calm and canter on.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby Quelah » Sat Dec 09, 2023 5:00 am

Congratulations StraightForward, that's awesome! Isn't it a fantastic feeling when a vetting goes well? I recently sold a horse and the vet doing the PPE told the seller she'd be a fool not to buy the mare. It's the most excellent home/match. A more perfect buyer I couldn't have dreamed up.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby heddylamar » Sat Dec 09, 2023 5:06 am

Maia and I are still alive and well! We've really been working on her canter. It's been more of a struggle than normal cantering a 20 meter circle lately, and if I half halt too strong (even a minimal breath) Maia takes the opportunity to swap leads. Part of it is likely deep footing — she doesn't do the same cantering sharp turns and pirouettes in the field with or without me — part is still likely me shifting my weight. And she definitely stronger on the left hind. So, on the advice of my bodyworker, we've been doing a bunch of shoulder/haunches in. And it's worked. We're cantering calm(ish), safe, consistent 20 and 15 meter circles now.

Well, not today. Today was a blowout disaster :lol: But the past few weeks have been great. We were struggling today. Hopefully I get a chance to ride in the morning before m6 flight — headed off for another 70 miles of the Appalachian trail through Virginia.

Fingers crossed Straightforward!

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Sat Dec 09, 2023 7:15 am

Congratulations and fingers crossed StraightForward. It sounds like a lovely home fur Annabelle.

I'm so bad at selling horses. I buy projects and somehow forget to sell them. I'm still sad I sold Caliburn and I get to ride him twice a week. Lol.

I have a strong plan to sell Honey or Fly in the spring.

I'm so tired of mud. I spent hours washing and drying legs today. Some got a heel treatment of lanolin balm. I moved hay feeders to mitigate mud depth and we are super to get two inches of rain on Sunday. I hope we do not. Then Monday is supposed to do to veto cold again so frozen pocked mud. Lol.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby Lipsmackerpony88 » Sat Dec 09, 2023 5:14 pm

Khall-, lovely videos, thank you for sharing. She's such a a pretty mare!

Straightforward- yay!! Best wishes for Annabelle. I'll admit I'll miss hearing about her on here but I know she will make a new owner very happy.

I rode Lynx on Thursday again and he was wonderful. Just a really light 25-minute ride, mostly walk but some trot. He was really windy outside in the barn was a little creaky and we were in there with another young horse who was a bit spooky. But he was wonderful! We are taking an extremely slow, I don't want to overdo anything. So it's mostly walk trot on straight lines and some large serpentines and maybe a tad bit of shoulder fore.

I also was able to audit some of the Lauren Spreiser clinic the other weekend. I really enjoyed her. I wouldn't peg her as the most classical trainer around but I thought she was very positive and each rider and horse I saw improved. One was a 5 year that came in very hyped up. The lady had to lunge the horse and it was running around like a maniac and rearing striking all that. I will say the rider was very calm as was Lauren. They worked on standing out the mounting block for quite a while. Lauren said that even though that seemed like a little thing that those things add up as time goes on. They did eventually get on and probably rode for about 20 minutes, But I thought that was actually pretty impressive with how it all started. There was one door that all the horses thought were pretty suspect as it was pretty creaky and loud. And contrasting colors. They inch their way over there but Lauren was all about not forcing the horse to go to the scary spot but just incrementally making their way over there without much focus to it. It worked beautifully.

Another rider came in on a saintly OTTB mare. Think she was about 8 years old. Gosh like Lauren said whatever the lady had paid for her was not nearly enough. She was just the epitome of amateur horse. Didn't look at a thing and just went around very pleasantly. Lauren said that she suspected the horse got a lot of 6.5s and occasional 7's But she thought the mare could do a little bit more is the basics were solid. The change in this mare from beginning to end was remarkable. She sure they looked like a warmblood at the end. She was actually using herself and lifting through the wither. There is nothing real complicated in the lesson but I did notice Lauren did utilize a lot of spiral circles.

All in all that was very interesting.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby StraightForward » Sat Dec 09, 2023 8:42 pm

Based on Lauren's lessons on Ride iQ, I'd love to ride with her if I get the chance. I enjoy her sense of humor, and some of the cues she uses for position really have the effect of putting my horse together.

Chisamba, I hear you on selling horses. I am pretty relieved though, because I think I was just at the point of annoying Annabelle with trying to up the ante with her in dressage, and also cutting some corners with T time and money-wise trying to keep them both going. At least she will be staying at the barn through the end of the month, or possibly January, and I'll likely see her out and about with her new owner occasionally. I really hope I never have to sell another horse because it is a nightmare with FaceBook and trainers and clients etc. Ugh.
Keep calm and canter on.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Sun Dec 10, 2023 6:49 am

Following along here. I'm having some breathing issues and voice problems which are a bit of a drag. I'm on some meds for an infection which are kicking my butt a bit, and started work with a speech pathologist last week.

So my emphasis for a while when I ride is going to be to work on my breathing patterns so I can persuade my vocal cords that it is a good idea to stay open when I breathe in... SP is quite keen to do a telemed visit with .me while I am riding sometime in the next couple of months.

Honestly, I'm feeling pretty miserable about the whole ordeal. All I want to do is be able to hold a coherent
conversation and ride my horse. Not necessarily at the same time.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Sun Dec 10, 2023 3:13 pm

Moutaineer that sounds very unpleasant. Jingles for breathing and healing.

StraightForward, I suppose it's why people send their horses to auction. I find it a bit ironic when people say they rescued a horse simply because it was an auctioned horse.

As for the barn and horses. They are supposed to be my Happy place
I think perhaps I get unreasonably grouchy when I become sad, frustrated or upset at my Happy place.
I have a new clinician coming in Saturday 16th. I'll let you know how it all goes.

I guess I'll see if focus on basics pays off.

Happy Sunday all

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby chantal » Sun Dec 10, 2023 8:48 pm

Well, I failed miserably at trying to keep up with my posting. Health issues, grandparent duties, work and just life in general, but lots of riding through it all.

I've been lurking and reading when I can. So much going on, in life and with horses. Jingles to all who need them, and it sounds like lot of good work is going as well. As well as lot of horse, well just stuff. They keep us on our toes, don't they?

We wound up going to to Region 1 champs in Lexington, VA. Didn't turn out as I hope but was a great experience. I blew my finals test, I actually went off course for the first time. I got a 60 but that doesn't get you anywhere in a 55 person class at finals. But hey we weren't last, only like 48th or something. Gah! We did okay the first day, our schooling day at the recognized show running concurrently, not great in our 1-3 test, I think I was tense. It was a 63.6. We did better in our 2-1 test both days, a 64.7 the first day and a 65.1 after my awful finals test, a good way to end the show. He was a star and handled the whole experience well and we won the warm ups. It's his rider that needs to chill and ride better in the show ring.

We've been chilling this fall with clinics and jumping and poles and working on half-passes so we can strengthen his hindquarters and start our changes.

Pics because pics.
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Chisamba
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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Mon Dec 11, 2023 12:30 am

Oh Chantal, I hate that you went off course. If i do that such a disappointment and to do so at a big event is ghastly. Mikey looks very handsome tho!!

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby chantal » Mon Dec 11, 2023 1:51 am

Chisamba wrote:Oh Chantal, I hate that you went off course. If i do that such a disappointment and to do so at a big event is ghastly. Mikey looks very handsome tho!!


Thank you Chisamba. I think I was too in my head. We started so well, he felt great, and it felt like we were supposed to canter at A. By time I rounded the corner and hit K I realized my error as we were supposed to be preparing for LY. And it all kind of went downhill from there. We had all 6's and 7''s for our first few movements, which was an accomplishment as we usually bombed the first lengthening in our tests. All good stuff to learn. and I apologized to him at the end of the test. I really blew it and couldn't pull myself back together.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby exvet » Mon Dec 11, 2023 1:03 pm

Very nice pics Chantal and congratulations. You went, you survived, and your horse did well. It just means the best is yet to come. Mikey is quite eye-catching!

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby StraightForward » Mon Dec 11, 2023 4:21 pm

Aww, sorry about that Chantal - the big pressure environment can really get in your head for sure! I always love seeing pics of Mikey though, and you're both looking super.

Our BO had a photographer out yesterday and we all got a mini photoshoot as a Christmas gift. I hopefully got some good ones with T though she was not impressed about being out in the pasture and not getting turned loose. Annabelle's new owner came out and got pics done, so that was a fun Day 1 for them.

Came back later and did laser and Posture Prep on T. I've talked about her grabbiness with the hind legs before, but since recent adjustments from the bodyworker, and using the PP on her hamstrings and gaskins, she can relax her legs down and back to rest the toe with a little cajoling. From the glimpses I can catch in the arena mirrors, her canter is looking more true, and she's getting better at reorganizing and going back to a good canter when it starts getting weird and scrambly. Also worked some HP and there is definite improvement- almost making it all the way across the diagonal in the little 60x120'ish arena. Hopefully towards the end of the week the outdoor will be drained enough to ride outside and maybe play over some jumps.

I've been cogitating about the merits of showing recognized next year, but just saw that the more laid-back Benefit got scheduled for August (swirling rumors were making it questionable), so perhaps I'll aim towards that to finish my first and second level scores rather than worrying about the spring shows, which I think might just derail our training a bit. Plenty of time to decide anyway!
Keep calm and canter on.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby blob » Mon Dec 11, 2023 6:22 pm

Ah, Chantal, what a bummer. But I think we have probably all been there before. I agree the pics look fabulous.

I'm taking a couple weeks off this december and although I have some short distance travel to visit family and friends here and there, i am very much looking forward to riding.

RP continues to be one step forward, two step backs. I'm considering re-injecting the SI and/or trying a lameness locator in case there is something bilateral going on that we can't quite see. But I don't want to make any decisions until i've been able to put together at least a solid month or so of riding consistently after all that time off.

On Saturday my barn had our holiday party and games day. We were divided into two teams and took part in several mounted games including a scavenger hunt, a baton relay race, simon says, musical 'hats' (like musical chairs, but when the music stopped the goal was to pick up a santa hat off of a standard). I used MM as my trusty games stead as she is always down for something different and had a great time--made even more fun when my team pulled off the win.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Mon Dec 11, 2023 7:30 pm

Blob, we love games and try to have a games day 3 x a year.


StraightForward, my whole life is a up and down mind changing inconsistent indecisive brouhaha about showing recognized or nor.

I vacillate between believing getting moderate scores on moderate horses is perfectly ok because I'm competing with myself, to intense disappointment because a flashy fancy mover who made all kinds of errors and barely stayed in the ring beat me, and swearing I'll never show again. I also recognize that I'm much more relaxed and focused on what the horse needs once show season is over. In other words I
suck at showing. But since I won't lesson with some one who doesn't show I feel complex to keep somewhat current scores on record.

And I only need psg scores for the silver, so do I care,? Idk.

Do I want to judge? Hell to the no! Ooh getting a little income as I get older by judging might be an option.

See, indecisive!

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby blob » Mon Dec 11, 2023 9:07 pm

Chisamba, I think you would make a great judge, fwiw.

Showing is for me also a roller coaster of emotions. But for me the biggest check in the 'pro' column is that having show goals drives me to have more concrete and specific training goals. When I didn't have any real show goals/wasn't showing much, I sort of stayed in one place from a training standpoint. I'm sure there was improvement in quality and consistency of the work, but i wasn't pushing myself or the horse to the next thing. I wasn't thinking about improving my lengthing into a medium or my shoulder in into a half pass. I wasn't think about getting a greater degree of collection, as long as I had some forward and back. And while ultimately this is fine, I could stay in one happy place forever (i'm sure the horses wouldn't complain), I would often feel a bit aimless.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Tue Dec 12, 2023 1:27 am

Chantal, sorry things didn't go entirely according to plan for you, but it's all experience. Lovely pictures, however.

I must admit I tend to just noodle about without showing goals, so they are a good focus for me, even if I also suck at showing. I keep thinking that if I do it more, maybe I'll get better at it.

The Utah recognized show calendar just came out. First show of the season has a judge who caused a total bloodbath last time they were here. I can't imagine what the show organizers were thinking, if they actually want the amateur and newbie contingent to keep showing up to shows for the rest of the season rather than crying bitterly in corners.

I'm not showing in front of that particular judge without a couple of schooling shows under my belt, that's for sure.

(All a bit bloody academic until I can actually breathe and ride for 6 or 7 minutes straight, however.)

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby exvet » Tue Dec 12, 2023 1:40 pm

Do y'all think you've been taught how to properly bend the horse - for a 20 meter circle, 15, 10? No big surprise that while I was on vacation Molly discovered that my horses have the same issue though each with it's own extra 'handicap'. I was informed that no one in Arizona teaches horses (and riders) how to properly bend. We're all about the outside rein. I had two lessons back-to-back, one on each horse. The focus was on proper degree of bending but more importantly maintaining that bend through the upward and downward transitions. The focus was also on moving the haunches out when asking for a downward transition so that there is never the backward use of the hand (especially outside rein). I don't have the habit of 'bending the neck' but I do have the habit of using the inside leg to connect to the outside rein and presume I have the horse bent (enough). For some reason I'm able to achieve better or more correct bend in my lateral movements but when riding on the straight away or in transitions on the circle I do not. I have been suckered into believing that neither horse can bend and move forward. I can have either but not both so particularly when Junior backs off I release the connection (and have carried that to Brandon as well). Both lessons were very good and very informative on revealing my horses' weaknesses, literally, as well as my own. As a result and despite ending on a very good note with each I decided I won't be entering the January show. I just don't feel ready with either horse. I feel 6 more weeks of transitions - for Junior, many counter-canter to trot and back with the correct bend and for Brandon, many walk-trot and trot-canter transitions with the proper bend (as well as encouraging the proper engagement of his pelvis) will be necessary. I had weaned Brandon down from twice a week estrone to once a week estrone and boy did it show, more issues with his stifles. It was eye-opening to have both boys start to 'connect in their brain' that when I pick up the inside rein and connect it to their inside hind demanding softness that they also realize the need to engage and power up (using the outside rein to ask for roundness) and when I move their haunches out (just a little) they are to transition downward maintaining the forward. I was able to keep my legs off and have them understand that until I asked for something else with either my seat or my leg (s) they were to maintain a consistent tempo. Got some really nice movement from both with a truly supple horse (each) and a good visual to know when I have the correct amount of bend to maintain 'that' supple horse.

So for Christmas I've ordered both boys their stocking stuffers - polyglycan for each, more estrone (twice weekly) for Brandon and a full set of cavallettis to be delivered at our home in Prescott. Molly gave me more exercises to do with Brandon in hand and under saddle to help strengthen his stifles further as well (and more importantly) the muscles around his stifles and in his loin so equibands for him as well. Santa is going to be busy shopping for both these boys. Currently we have the February show on our horizon if all goes well.

To briefly comment on another topic raised here, my focus is to do it correctly and damn the scores. Molly and I agree that I'm a strong enough rider that I could take Brandon to the January show and perform first and second 1 & 2 by faking it, getting scores in the low 60s. This I don't wish to do. I want to have their basics solid. Neither of my guys will ever be 70s movers but there isn't any reason why high 60s can't be obtained and that will only occur with correct basics. Of course I want it all - to achieve these goals with SOUND horses.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby StraightForward » Tue Dec 12, 2023 5:01 pm

Exvet, I identify with a lot of that bend with power was one of the things Leslie really nailed me on, and we still have plenty to work on there.

Thanks for reminding me about Equibands. I found a Sailrite sewing machine on Craigslist this weekend and hadn't though much farther than repairing blankets, but I'm going to rig one up with and old saddle pad. This winter is all about physical therapy for Tesla and she is mostly not complaining. I did a fascia taping on her glutes last night because she was a bit touchy, especially on the right (which hopefully means she's using it more). We had a bit of drama in our ride last night with upping the ante to more of a 2nd level connection, but started getting some slower, more through canter with time spent on the hind legs. The glimpse I caught in the mirror, she was really articulating the IH and bringing it up and through. I think lots of that in bits with down transitions into slower, cadenced trot will be a centerpiece of our rides. We finished up with some almost show-worthy trot HP both ways. Pieces are clicking into place!
Keep calm and canter on.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby blob » Tue Dec 12, 2023 9:00 pm

exvet wrote: Molly gave me more exercises to do with Brandon in hand and under saddle to help strengthen his stifles further as well (and more importantly) the muscles around his stifles and in his loin so equibands for him as well.


I'd be very grateful to hear the exercises, as I think RP would benefit greatly, esp with the loin strengthening.


As for circle bending, who knows what bending is. The work I've had with the new trainer has very heavily revolved around trying (and failing) to correctly bend RP on a circle so that there is no dropping of the inside shoulder, no dropping of inside hip, no stepping out of outside hind, no falling out with outside shoulder (this is not our particular problem, but still worth listing), all while making sure the neck isn't over bent, the nose and hip are on the same path and the rhythm stays the same. Woof.

One thing that has been helpful for me to think about is that in order to go in a bending line, the outside half of the horse's body, has to take a bigger track than the inside half of the horse's body. And so making sure that outside body is reaching/stretching while the inside body is contracting.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Tue Dec 12, 2023 11:04 pm

I feel the most common problem in riding, be it bending, half halts or transitions is our tendency to pull back.

I'd you think about a curve, and you place your horse on a curve, if you pull the outside rein for the half halt the horse has to either nose out, drop in the inside shoulder or throw its haunches out. The outside hand must always be slightly in advance of the inside hand .

Jmho
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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby mari » Wed Dec 13, 2023 6:05 am

exvet wrote:Do y'all think you've been taught how to properly bend the horse - for a 20 meter circle, 15, 10?


No. Because on the very rare occasions I get to ride with one of the national coaches, the thing that gets yelled at me above all else is "MOOOOORE BENDING" :lol:
The aim of argument or of discussion should not be victory, but progress. ~ Joseph Joubert

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby chantal » Thu Dec 14, 2023 12:06 am

No, I don't think I was taught properly to bend a horse or correctly use my aids. It's a whole lot more complicated than bend around the leg and keep your outside contact and flex to the inside.

I agree Mari, always more bending. ALWAYS

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby Aleuronx » Thu Dec 14, 2023 2:56 pm

SF I hope it's not too bittersweet the sale of Annabelle. I can't wait to see what your full focus on T changes your progress.

Chantal, what a bummer for the human but the horse doesn't know you went wrong. The pictures of him are looking so strong and lovely. Onwards!

We are plodding along, settling into NE winter riding which is distinctly different than the rest of the year. Lowered expectations, lol. Get what you can and call it a day when playing the indoor roulette of others riding and lunging unruly beasts.

I also raise my glass to mari of always more bending. It's a focus of ours for this winter, now that I'm able to ride her properly straight in all gaits. Now we need straight with good bend. Oh dressage, the constant improvement seeking in me both loves and hates.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby exvet » Mon Dec 18, 2023 1:36 pm

It would seem that as long as I'm conscious of it (and in my mind over exaggerate it) our bending appears appropriate for the level on each horse when riding in front of a judge/trainer/coach/instructor. It also would seem that both boys were more in front of my leg, each during their respective lessons. One of the peanut gallery also stated that despite not being strong enough to sustain it, Junior was showing some of the best canter he's ever done <hallelujah>! According to the instructor, I am getting better (faster) about not getting sucked into his 'good enough' mantra and thus demanding and getting more (ie, better) from him (and before he peters out too). Brandon just simply stepped up to the plate. His stifles did not seem to be bothering him. As a side note that I think will help all of my horses but especially Brandon, we just purchased the lot next to us in order to add to our 'horse property'. It's 2+ acres of rolling hills (soft) which I already (won't close until the end of January) am working Brandon on to condition him. It will be great to have access to it 24/7. Like most HOA's I'll have to get creative to work around their rules of keeping horses housed at night but I've managed to bump heads with them in the past and win.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby StraightForward » Mon Dec 18, 2023 2:17 pm

Awesome progress on Junior's canter, and glad Brandon is doing well with his stifles!

Tesla had a puffy leg Saturday. I love that I have all this therapy stuff now, so I lasered and taped it. Looked better yesterday, but still some filling around the tendon and really mild heat, so I iced and then threw on some Sore-Eze and a standing wrap for a few hours. It seemed tighter when I pulled the wrap last night, but she'll probably get a couple more days off just to be sure. Too bad because she was feeling fab when we hauled out on Friday. We bumped into the person who was taping her up until she moved out of the barn a couple months ago, and she agreed that she is going better than ever. Good to hear since she has been watching her fairly closely over time, so it wasn't just a casual observation.

I found a pasture board spot for Obie just about 3 miles from my house, and barely out of the way between house and barn, so I'll be moving him towards the end of the month. He has been about 45 minute away on the other side of the valley, so I'm excited to have him somewhere I can keep tabs on him. He'll be out with what the BO calls "the needys" on an acre or two in an 8-horse herd, so that should be mentally and physically good for him. He seems to be doing well - he'd gotten access to more space, and when I went to see him last week, he looked at me and took off running and bucking up the hill, then came back down snorting and doing a surprisingly floaty trot for a horse with a busted knee.

Annabelle seems to be doing well with her new owner. She is going to take a lesson this week with the BO as she is trying to regain confidence in canter; Annabelle is always happy to just jog along if she senses that her rider isn't fully committed. I'm sure they'll get there.
Keep calm and canter on.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby chantal » Mon Dec 18, 2023 9:57 pm

SF-so happy things worked out with Annabelle, congrats.
exvet-congrats on the property, the good canter work and not getting sucked into "good enough". I know that mantra. I have the pictures to show it.

I'm loving the bend thought process. It's so much more than just having their body shaped on a curve with everything else left to do whatever. It's the withers up, it's not falling through a shoulder, it's being over the back.

As blob said "As for circle bending, who knows what bending is. The work I've had with the new trainer has very heavily revolved around trying (and failing) to correctly bend RP on a circle so that there is no dropping of the inside shoulder, no dropping of inside hip, no stepping out of outside hind, no falling out with outside shoulder (this is not our particular problem, but still worth listing), all while making sure the neck isn't over bent, the nose and hip are on the same path and the rhythm stays the same. Woof."

My instructor wondered if we got Mikey too straight for a bit, we need more of the "dipping the nose into the feed bucket" as JJ Tate says to get a little more bend and to get him really over his back. I will also flex him to the outside which really helps with everything blob listed. DH took a few pics this weekend and I know I had some good canter but ugh, his head and neck were not helping him get over his back. Or should I say I wasn't helping him. The difference in the following canter pics says a lot to me. The winter one from yesterday, the other 2 from earlier this fall. I did have to work to get him to take the contact out yesterday, I'm wondering if my hands were blocking him more than I realized. So today I worked on softness and bending and going from a long rein to collection and back out when he threw his head up in our transitions. And made sure I wasn't pulling back with my hands and that my elbows were where they should be. He was much softer and much more over his back and we had a great ride. We even got some some good forward half-pass at the trot which we've been struggling with outside of lessons.
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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby exvet » Tue Dec 19, 2023 12:24 pm

Nice pics and really nice progression Chantal. You describe exactly what we worked on in our lessons on Sunday with both boys in regards to bending - it's everything working properly into the hand, over the back and coming from behind following the correct path where everything stacks up on top of what's underneath, nothing escaping. In addition to this we also worked on will he trot bigger, trot slower, trot bigger, trot slower (same with the canter) without losing all of what's achieved with the proper bend? Many times yes, sometime no but we're getting more yes than no!

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby chantal » Tue Dec 19, 2023 12:31 pm

exvet wrote:Nice pics and really nice progression Chantal. You describe exactly what we worked on in our lessons on Sunday with both boys in regards to bending - it's everything working properly into the hand, over the back and coming from behind following the correct path where everything stacks up on top of what's underneath, nothing escaping. In addition to this we also worked on will he trot bigger, trot slower, trot bigger, trot slower (same with the canter) without losing all of what's achieved with the proper bend? Many times yes, sometime no but we're getting more yes than no!


Thank you exvet. They clearly show the difference in that pesky little bend thing-on my own vs in a lesson.

Yes, always bigger, smaller within the gait and then forward down and out is his reward for really hard work. And then back up. My hands!! I'm an adult, I have to be responsible for my hands and not block him.

And the withers like a shark fin, up and narrower but the neck gets wider. Now if I could be more consistent on my own...

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby Tanga » Tue Dec 19, 2023 8:06 pm

Nice, Chantal. Interesting bend discussion. I judged one of those IEA shows over the weekend for high school and junior high, which was very interesting. The teams fly in from all over the west and compete, picking horses and getting a few, literally maybe 5, minutes to figure out the horse before doing the test. What a great way to learn to ride. Bend was a big one that made a difference in everything. What I always see causing problems is bending from the rein. When I was able to talk to them in e flat classes and explain to balance the bend by using their hips, elbows and shoulders to bring the weigh back and to the outside to balance them into an outside rein (ride a train, not a bicycle leaning in) you could see a huge difference. The ones that did really well (like high 70's scores I think) really had this. The trainer that provided the horses for this (like 25 I think!) had great ones. They didn't ask, they didn't get it, but as soon as the riders asked correctly, all of the horses did a great job of complying. The collective marks on these tests and judging criteria are different than regular dressage, all focusing on the rider, except for one collective mark about horse responsiveness. Sometimes that was the highest mark I gave there.

I'm always working on it, trying not to overbend, which really screwed up my half passes a few years ago. I've been trying a warm up where, when I don't get the bend I want, esp. in stiffer Quinn, I do not ask for more by using the inside leg and trying to soften the neck, but way overdo swinging my outside hip out in the post, so I'm really shifting the weight. Then when I go into work, it all seems a lot softer and more correct without me feeling like I need to over ride the neck.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Tue Dec 19, 2023 8:11 pm

Do any of you know Stephan Cheret? He is a French rider who has lived in NJ for quite a long time. I decided to try him on the suggestion of a long time dressage friend who worked with him.

He is very focused and noticed almost instantly that Saiphs major issue is reluctance to go forward into contact. He encouraged me to maintain form contact regardless of her running backward, hopping, Rearing or whatever until she goes forward again. In my life I have often made the mistake of making the horse look better in a clinic to avoid looking like a bad trainer. I decided before this clinic u would just let her be ugly.

I'm so tired is people saying, she is such a sweet horse you just need to learn to shorten your reins.

Ok. I'll hold the reins and keep the contact and see how " sweet" she really is. Let me assure you, with my hand arthritis and preference for light contact I'm just not heavy handed so it not like I'm driving her into 100 pounds. I basically want to be able to keep 1 to 3 pounds in the rein. That's all.

So we had several sessions of dead stop, running backwards, attempting to curl behind the contact, hopping and just refusing to listen to the leg.

Bend is not her problem, supple she is, fairly even too, flying changes in both directions, shoulder in, leg yield, half pass, none of these are a problem, but simple forward with contact, you'd think I was trying to ride her through a burning fire, or into lions jaw.

So. I rode honestly and Stephan asked for many walk trot transitions but walk to medium trot, then a bit of collection, then medium, same in canter, walk or c trot to medium canter, then a bit of collection maybe the or four strides, then medium.

An hour later he was very seriously and kindly addressing whether she will have the forward and focus to progress through the FEI.

He told me he had a horse like her, a gelding, qualified and went to Devon, in I1 and the horse got stuck and that was it,

So. Once more I have the joy of getting my horse to PSG and having 3 people with more experience than me suggest that my horse does not really have the brain for the rest of it. This time I agree. If I really listen to her, she simply does not want to be an FEI horse. Kimba, otoh really wants it, but her gaits are not really clean. But I think her brain is in it. Idk what the future will bring.

So that's my year. The year of trying to push a rock through a keyhole and not wanting to admit it's just not going to fit.

Even worse, my dear beloved best dog ever was taking a walk with my son. I was at the barn. A white truck drove up and it would aspire she thought it was me, slipped the leash and galloped to the truck, who accelerated into her and killed her. The thought that keeps coming to my mind is that is she thought it was my truck, than she she believes I killed her.

She was young. Vibrant, loyal, fast beautiful. It's bad enough that I lost dogs and horses this year, with age and cancer and all the bad stuff, but this one is just too hard for me to cope with. And I can't even be honest about how bad it is because my son feels so bad And so guilty that ..

Well that's all.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby Srhorselady » Tue Dec 19, 2023 8:24 pm

Oh Chisamba, I’m so so sorry. I totally understand why you both feel guilty altho neither of you should. Sometimes bad things just happen. You have all my sympathy and empathy.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby chantal » Tue Dec 19, 2023 11:32 pm

I am so sorry to hear about your dog, that's traumatic for you and your son. I wish I could make it better.

Did the new trainer have any suggestions? Did he hop on Saiph? Does she have any physical issues?

This is a lot, sending you peace and healing for your heart.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby chantal » Wed Dec 20, 2023 12:57 am

Something we added to our training this year is longlining with Richard Malmgrem. Our first session was Dec 5 2022 and our 5th session with him was Nov 17 about a month ago. His input has been invaluable and I love watching Mikey go on the longline. He's had to figure out how to carry himself and can't lean on me, which I shouldn't allow either. We usually do 2 sessions with him when he comes up and once I rode the second day. He's very good with the horses. Has anyone else here worked with him?
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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby chantal » Wed Dec 20, 2023 1:05 am

I feel like we could overlay these 2 trot photos. The one of me riding is from Sept 9. The longlining one is from Nov 17
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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Wed Dec 20, 2023 1:38 am

I'm so sorry about your dog, Chisamba. That must have been devastating.

I think bend is probably something we all work on, once we get to the level of sophistication in our riding that we understand the concept. Bending honestly through the body going to the right is one of (the last of) Potters' explosion triggers at the moment. I think it's probably quite difficult for him physically, it's probably a somewhat uncomfortable stretch at the moment and he'd much rather not do it. So, we are sneaking up on it, doing little bits often so he gets more supple and less bothered by it.

I do notice that while he has built a good topline and isn't back-sore at all in the traditional sense (my vet and saddle fitter both say he has a wonderful back,) if I get into him with the Posture Prep groomer along the area under his saddle, he's rather tight, so I think a bit more myofascial release and massage work will help, and I think I'll try going back to the BOT saddle pads now winter is finally threatening to arrive.

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Re: Powering through to the end: November December Goals and Progress

Postby StraightForward » Wed Dec 20, 2023 3:57 am

I'm so sorry about your dog Chisamba, that is just heartbreaking :cry:
Keep calm and canter on.


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