Sunday, December 18, 2011

Focused on Soft

Today was the last Duke Day of the year, which means we have a little potluck and hang out while the horses get their feet trimmed. Brian and I like to ride before trims when at all possible, and it was a beautiful day-- warmer than I've ever seen December in Iowa. We rode on the strip and I, buoyed  by watching the Buck  DVD, put the hackamore back on Steen for another go.

I've also been making my way through Hackamore Reinsman, by Ed Connell. It's an old manual, and some of the stuff in the book does not really apply to my life and situation, but a lot of it is useful. I came across a sentence in bold that said:

"It should be remembered that the harder the hackamore is pulled on, the harder the horse gets to the hackamore."

Buck talked about how difficult it is for the horse to understand the hackamore at first, since all pressure comes from below the chin. It takes them a while to learn to feel the pull to the side as well as down when they are asked to turn. So I went out prepared to be as soft and patient as possible, and to give Steen plenty of time between things to just move around and continue to get used to having the bosal on.


I had a wonderful ride. I think our pretty demanding hour in the snaffle was helpful for both of us, and a light easy day in the hackamore felt great. Steen was giving me the soft feel more consistently than he ever has in the hackamore, and I was able to stay soft soft soft.


 He still has a tendency to over-flex and stick at times when I ask for the back, but usually I'm able to unstick him quite quickly and then he'll really reach back and move.


And we're making good progress at bringing the front end through after disengaging the hindquarters.


I also worked on holding a bit of collection at the walk a few times, sometimes asking him to slow his walk while I did this, sometimes not. He handled that really well. Brian took a bunch of pictures of me riding and I'm really noticing Steen's head position. He's just carrying himself differently these days. It's good to see.

I kept my ride short, both because the farrier was waiting and also because it was such a positive ride I didn't want to muck it up by taking it a little too far.

Brian, on the other hand, rode much longer and it seems like he and Bear are really working through a few things lately. Bear, too, is learning to collect, particularly at the trot and when backing. So as things stand my husband has officially logged more saddle time than me this year...


Ride Time: 0:35
Horseback hours YTD: 103: 50

1 comment:

  1. >So as things stand my husband has officially logged more saddle time than me this year...

    This makes me a teeny bit jealous. :)

    Grats on having a good ride.

    ReplyDelete

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