Thursday, September 10, 2015

A New Gear?

I'm always telling my preschool kids that whining and complaining endlessly doesn't get them what they want. I've also had to tell Mo this repeatedly. "I hate your leg!" "Well then go forward and I'll stop kicking." Etc.

As Denny Emerson says, the horse would always rather be eating grass than doing whatever you want to do.

But maybe my whining and complaining on here about how hard it is to get Mo's butt in gear has worked and the Forward Fairies have heard me. On Tuesday, the little guy had the best trot work that he has had yet. The transitions within the gaits were outstanding, and when I asked for a longer stride down the long side, I got a true lengthening. His withers came up 2". I nearly wept.

He know he cool

I hopped off soon after, because if the horse shows up and does things that have been hard for him exactly right, his ride can be over.

Then yesterday we had a jump school, with fences ranging from about 2'6"-2'9". M wants to get rid of this lazy little stall-step he does in front of some of his fences, so she had me tap him with the whip behind my leg just before the fence. After doing that a couple times, that step was gone, and his first time over the liverpool oxer was the best jump I'd had on him yet.

One of these days I'll get a decent picture of a jump school. Anyway, you can see the oxer with the rocks in front of Mo. The oxer on the other side is the liverpool. Up centerline is a one-stride, vertical to oxer. Then there are the two nearest verticals. There are several exercises in this school. I started by trotting and cantering the verticals when they were a hole down, then I angled the vertical of the one-stride heading towards the barn off each lead. All of that was peachy. I caught both oxers and the one-stride. No problemo, especially after I tapped him on the way over the rocks the first time. M hiked everything up a hole or two and we went for a somewhat more technical course.

In the next set, we did a bending line from the vertical nearest to Mo's ear there to the liverpool (rides a little funky) and from the other vertical to the rocks (rides great). He was a little green to the liverpool the first time and caught it on the half stride, but in the second go-round I was able to settle him after the first vertical and it went better. Then M broke the news that we'd be doing the one-stride then bending two-strides to one or the other vertical. She told me to slow the exercise down in my head so that there would be time going into the last jump. The first time, turning to the right, we just missed. Green horse, I could have taken a half-halt that would have made it work out. The second time to the right was fine, and then the third time, when we went left instead, was flawless. He was done, we went for a walk. I think he was very pleased with himself.

Today we went on another walk, on the buckle, all around the property by ourselves. He was pleased and relaxed the whole time. Tomorrow another dressage lesson, and then Loch Moy! (Oh, because the Gordonsdale thing got canceled so it's off to run elementary at Loch Moy instead.)

First-ever trail riding ears pic!

I'm so happy to see that my horse is enjoying his work right now. I hope he has as much fun on Saturday as I plan to.


  1. Awww this update just makes me happy. :-)

  2. sounds like an awesome few days of riding. also i love that one stride bending to the verticals - such a versatile exercise!

  3. YAY! Good boy Mo! What is Riley going to think of those rocks!?!

  4. Woohoo! Sounds like a great school. What a good boy!