Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 3 of Phase 1

Firstly Greta got her feet trimmed today (she is barefoot btw) and the farrier said he thought they looked wonderful. I must get pictures. Her feet have become nicely concave, and her frogs are nice and wide and thick. They just look nice!

And riding.....

Today wasn't as brilliant as Saturday, as I forgot to do as many halt transitions and rein backs as I did Saturday. We did some, but we didn't do much. Oops. It wasn't a killer though. Her trot is looking awesome, though her walk still has some stuff left to be desired. I don't know why her trot looks better than her walk.... but she's always carried herself nicely at the trot. I cantered her on a loose rein just to let her canter, but we really drilled the walk and trot. Fortunately, we were able to work some in the covered arena, then move over to the outdoor arena. The outdoor arena did prove a point on how much better Greta is responding to my leg aids now.

Greta hasn't been in the outdoor arena for almost two weeks now because it has been too wet, so it almost seemed all of my hard work desensitizing her to the end that adjoins the Scary Utility Shed was for naught. But because she is listening to my aids much better now, she quickly responded to my opening of the outside rein, pushing her over with my inside leg, and putting more weight on my outside seat bone. I'm sure it might've looked crude for the first few times, but after a while, she was nailing it. She would still keep a hard eye on the Scary Utility Shed, but she would keep walking and trotting on without hiking her head up or quickening her pace. When we came at that end of the arena from the centerline, she hiked her head up and tried to veer away from it as much as possible, but that's just something we'll have to work on, now won't we?

I will hopefully be getting video tomorrow, and I will definitely remember to do as much transitions as I did Saturday (hehe) and I'm sure that will make things just as wonderful as they were today :)

Also, I will attest now that riding in shorts with a saddle and tall boots is actually quite comfortable. I almost had a better seat and leg position and feel. Weird.


  1. Your understanding of Greta's attitude is amazing. I am very impressed at how "in tune" you are with her. As far as the "scary shed", Greta may be sensing something that would not be considered irrational if we (people) knew what it was. Perhaps she has seen a rat run under there, or, this being Texas, a snake. Critters such as this rarely come out when people are around so it's likely the horses are the only ones to have seen them.... snakes make me very nervous, too.

  2. I think you should try an experiment.

    How about schooling in a bareback pad? If your horse goes really well bareback, then ask yourself what feels or looks different about your seat, legs, or upper body position? A mirror would be helpful, too. Your saddle may be throwing you into a forward perched-position which stops forward energy in the horse and hurts the rider. Bareback riding tends to make you sit more towards your seat pockets. If you find that you CAN relax your upper body and legs then you have found the balanced seat! One cannot come without the other.

    Riding bareback also takes saddle fit out of the equation. The walk and the canter are the two most difficult gaits for a horse to perform when the saddle is not comfortable.

    Have fun and be safe.

  3. I'm enjoying reading about your progress.

    Sofie has a "scary corner" in the yard, and sometimes she's silly about going through the scary corner or heading onto the trail (the trail starts in the scary corner). LOTS of inside leg to outside rein, haha!

  4. @ Anonymmous: Greta definitely likes to "see dead horses" bahaha (as the BM put it so accurately!) so the big thing to teach her to trust me and remember that my aids come first. I wouldn't put her any where near something that I know would potentially harm her. And thanks so much for your kind words. I'm really trying right now!

  5. @ Val: I have ridden Greta quite a bit bareback (though not a bareback pad.... and with my bony butt and her bony back... ouch!) and we really can only trot and walk comfortably. I definitely notice a relaxation in my postition, and I'm trying to transfer it over to my under saddle riding, particularly the sitting trot!

    What I really need is some lessons on the longe line lol.

  6. @ Meghan: At least Sofie will go to it. Greta will try to stop and force us to turn around (she can really be in charge if she wants haha) and at first I had to throw away all equitation rules just to get her to go forward. Now that she listens better, then we don't look at crude going towards scary things, but yes, definitely a lot of leg to opposite rein haha! But she's a good girl, she really tries.... she just gets a little freaked out by anything and everything lol.


Comments are greatly appreciated and, most importantly, Greta loves you for commenting ♥

Thanks guys!