Monday, October 14, 2013

Making progress!


For the first time in awhile I'm actually feeling like I'm getting somewhere with Cash instead of taking steps backwards.  I'm continuing to ride him in a stock saddle -- which I gotta ask, how is it that it's so much easier to sit the trot in one of those versus my dressage saddle??  It's not fair.  I've also started riding him in a rope halter, I decided either it'd be crazy or it would work, and so far it's working!  It's definitely forcing the both of us to rely more on leg/seat cues.  Also, the roundpen is continuing to be very beneficial in teaching Cash to bend around the circle and stand up and respect my inside leg.

I've also starting using a little exercise that I saw Nicku of (insert blog here) use.  She described it as 10-10-10, that is: 10 strides walk, 10 strides trot, 10 strides canter, repeat.  I loved the idea of really instilling precision in your horse so I adapted it to my own use.  Granted I am not doing canter right now, but still doing the 10-10 walk and trot was plenty!  So far I'm loving the results, Cash is listening much better and it forces me to be very precise yet subtle with my aids.  I also mix up the strides because Cash is a smart bugger and picked up reeeaaally quick on the 10-10 pattern.  So I do something more like 5-10-8-20-10-6-9... and so on.  But I make sure to pick a number in my head right as I'm changing to the new gait so that it's not a "ooohh we've gone 10, how 'bout three more."  Nope!  Gotta be precise.

I'm hoping in a couple weeks, assuming I'm able to keep up semi-regularly with riding, we'll be able to move back into the arena.  I've been really focusing on keeping him in tune with my body on the lunge line.  He tries really hard to get in front of or behind me in the scary area, but when I don't let him do that it's amazing how quickly he drops the game.  Love it.

On a fun note, yesterday my friend and I went down to the Colorado Horse Park to help with the cross country phase for the Area IX Championships.  My friend went and jump judged and I got to be the Warm-up Ring Steward.... THAT was wild!! 

Beginner Novice was some crazy variation of cat herding... if you think riding in those beginner warm ups are crazy, try orchestrating it from the ground... making sure the riders were actually there, calling out their 2 minute warning over the bullhorn (which was interesting as it was a good 2-3 acre warmup area AND the wind was blowing like crazy... I'm not sure how well I was heard haha), letting them know how many riders ahead of them, sending them to the start box, if we had a scratch seeing if they wanted to go early, as well as grabbing pinneys from the riders headed back to the barn from finish. I was a very busy bee all day long. 

The intermediate warm up was decidedly less crazy than the rest of the day
But I thoroughly enjoyed it and despite a gnarly sun/wind burn I will totally do warm up steward again. Go Eventing!



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