Wednesday, March 2, 2011

lesson success

Lucy and I had our first lesson in forever last night. Thanks to the money I got for my birthday, I booked lessons for three Tuesdays in a row starting yesterday. Depending on how much spring shots cost, and how much hay I end up getting this month, I might be able to swing three more. That should put us in good shape for show season.

A new boarder at the barn offered to video tape for me, YAY! Here are the videos:

Lunge work:

I had already lunged her in both directions for a total of 20 minutes. She did not put a foot wrong but as soon as the camera came out she got all sorts of silly, as you can see. Oh well, there are still some nice moments of stretchyness.

I freaking love the trot she dishes out at around 2:20.

Trot work:

Ohhh the mare face was rampant last night. My instructor started laughing hysterically at one point (I don't think it's in the video) and I was like, are you laughing at her? and he said, yes, she's just relentless isn't she!

Anyway, very interesting: he does not want me to smack her on the shoulder with a crop if she's being naughty. During the lesson she kicked out at my outside leg twice but they were very minor incidents. She has been MUCH MUCH worse in the past. I am interested to see what others would do in that case: do you "ignore" the bucking/kicking out etc and push her through it, or do you whack her once on the shoulder, sit the resulting explosion, and then move on immediately?

Canter work:

The video camera filled up its memory before we got to the right lead but it was about the same.

Shockingly, I think this was the first time Lucy has ever been legitimately TIRED. She broke from the canter several times. At the end of the ride she was steaming and sweaty, even under the bridle crownpiece. This is the same horse that went for a two hour trail ride through the deep snow and came back completely cool. That being said, we focused mainly on rhythm and relaxation here, which takes more energy out of her than running around at full speed with her head in the air.

I think one of the reasons we were so productive during the lesson was that I lunged her in the side reins before hand. It put her mind in the game and that's honestly half the battle with this horse.

Anyway I was really pleased with the whole thing and I can't wait til next Tuesday :D

Here are some video stills:


  1. You guys look great! So glad you're getting some lessons. It's amazing what 'eyes on the ground' can see that we totally miss from the saddle.

    If she's kicking out at the leg, I would probably not discipline (since that's causing a bigger issue). Instead, just continue to use the leg until she accepts it.

    That said, I am not an instructor. ;-) Ask him.

  2. My trainer says the same as yours - ignore the behavior and keep riding. It has worked well with Jackson. It seems like if there isn't a reaction from me, there isn't any point to acting out.

  3. My trainer has been telling me to ignore whatever bad behavior the horse dishes out and just ride through it. I have a tendency to get very tense, which apparently does not help the situation!

    Lucy looks great in the video! Good luck on the continued lessons.

  4. ok, cool, thanks guys! I trust my instructor's advice 100% and will follow it. I have only used the crop with her (i.e. smacked her on the shoulder) on maybe two or three occasions and it has been when she is borderline belligerent. The little kicks here and there don't bother me in the least. The crop works to snap her out of it and get her focused on the task at hand, not being a gigantic wench. I agree that it's best to take the option that will produce less disruption so ignoring it should be the way to go. Good points, everyone :)

  5. in the lunging video, once she got her sillies out, around 3:30, she looks amazing and floating and stretchy!
    I've always been told to ignore the bad and push through it, or circle and re-set, if possible.

  6. My computer fails right now so I can't watch the video, but just wanted to comment. I used to always give my gelding a smack if he was bucky or kicked out, but that generally caused him to explode and then stop and refuse to go forward. Now I just ride through whatever shenanigans he offers and ignore it, which seems to make him upset and be like "damn it she's no fun to mess with" and then he behaves. However, I do make him canter longer than normal then, so he still gets punished without realizing it. He is very lazy, so I think working extra hard gets the point across that bucking is not welcomed, and his life will be easier if he behaves.

    I love Lucy btw. Punky mares are the best.

  7. Your horse is beautiful! I grew up on a farm and did some riding when I was younger but haven't for years. Your blog makes me miss it though! I want your life!

  8. Finally got to watch the videos. I LOVE her canter work under saddle. She looks so good!


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