Saturday, February 04, 2012

More Leg Yields

Since last fall I've been working a lot on teaching Steen to break at the poll and give me the soft feel at all gaits, and I've also been holding pressure on the bit to keep him collected for a few strides at a time. But where I'm really starting to feel him move in a way I've never felt before is working on leg-yields at the trot. I'd worked on this before with Steen, but never really saw the point because I was doing it wrong. Now I'm having a lot of fun with it, particularly since Steen has started to soften up and enjoy the challenge of what I'm asking him to do.

We're still not really all that great at it, and today's ride was all around a bit worse than yesterday's. Steen wasn't bad, we just weren't nailing things quite the same way. In the photo above, he's giving me a decent leg-yield. His front feet are crossing, his head is tipped away from the direction he's moving. He's soft and collected. But we were doing a much better job yesterday.

One thing he was still doing really well today was stopping. I am actually daring to hope our stopping woes are permanently behind us (but with Steen, you never know).

Brian has ridden Bear in the hackamore the last two days, and it has been interesting to see what is translating well and what's not. We loped around together a little today, and worked on "the routine," and Bear was a bit more inclined to express his opinions than he has been lately. We had some good moments though, and got an hour of riding in.

During our ride it was snowing outside. I always feel a bit bad putting the horses out in nasty weather, but they never seem to mind.

Ride Time: 1:05
Horseback hours YTD: 6:25

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