We had a beautiful sunny day, and it was lovely to see everyone who was able to come.
As per last time we started the day with an assessment of two horses. Although neither Shauleen or Elinor had brought horses they gave us the benefit of their wide experiences and it was a useful learning experience for me and I hope the others too. Using the questions in the books we were looking for establishing a “baseline” of where Twist and Sirocco were at the start of the day, it is definitely not looking for faults or picking at other people’s horses, but a tool to see where they are at today which can be used as a guide to select what exercises could be a good place to start. We must remember to take “before” and “after” photos next time, and maybe a quick review at the end of the day, to assess how the work done during the day affected how they were moving. I think it would be useful to take photos and short videos of all the horses who come each time, and review how we are progressing after six months or so.
We reviewed “Slide up Slide out” and why it is such an important thing for your horse to learn, leading on to working further away from your horse with them maintaining their half of the connection. For those new to Connected Riding we also looked at Drawing the Bow and Combing the Line/reins. We talked about attempting to keep at roughly a right angle to the horse’s head when walking to prevent accidentally pulling on or being pulled by your horse. Mimi and I did some two lining to show how to help your horse keep their connection and how you could use your rotations to influence their turns and weight shifts, as the others were practicing with their horses. We then enjoyed lunch basking in the sun. After lunch those who wanted to ride just spent a few minutes warming up with the exercise of their choice
Quita and Helen had just received their new saddle and both seemed to be very happy and comfortable in it. Steve came with Twist and Smudge and they were both looking beautiful. Barb and Jess were learning some new groundwork, but after lunch Barb was feeling too sunned and replete to ride. Jenny popped in briefly after lunch, she had a short ride on Rapunzel and found some residual resentments to hindquarters yields when going through the gate which she plans to address soon. Sirocco seemed very pleased that his “Mum” Simone has returned from her long holiday and was keen to get back into action in his newly adjusted saddle too.
I had gone into the paddock to catch Pan, but Mimi trotted up first and she had a lovely morning doing groundwork and going over the obstacles in the “Playground of Higher Learning”. After lunch she cantered up to me, but I really wanted to ride Pan, so just gave her a scratch and waited for him to trot up behind her. We were last on due to being involved in some of the conversations…… Quita kindly kept riding with me for a while. I was very pleased with Pan, he was forward and we didn’t have any of the balkiness in the trot, even a short canter! The longer stirrups felt odd in the trot, but I just kept reminding myself to have “soapy bones” and let my joints all have movement and when I remembered to add “the float forward” it felt secure and succinct to rise. I was very pleased with both of us. 🙂
One of the best bits of the day is all the interesting conversations and discussions. The stimulation to think about what we’ve been learning, why certain refinements can be useful, when you would use different leading positions, static work, or even which modality could be beneficial in certain situations, It all helps me to understand and remember what we’ve been learning .
Thank you everyone for such a lovely day, hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
The next CR-TTEAM Practice day is the first Saturday in August. (4/8/12) starting at 9.30am.
September’s is Saturday the first (1/9/12).
P.S. It would be great to have full clinics at the end of September/early October with Trisha Wren, they will be the last ones for the year. There are more details in a previous blog and you can book using the forms on this website. So far there are four horses booked in for the first week of training and possibly three for the second. If you know of anyone who might be interested in having Trisha work with their horse for a week or two please pass the details to them. We need a couple more to make it viable.
P.P.S. and don’t forget Robyn Hood and most likely her daughter, Mandy Pretty, will be here in December. It would be very helpful to have deposits for that in shortly. Robyn is in high demand overseas and we are really lucky that she has fitted coming to Victoria into her busy schedule, it may seem a long way off, but it’s incredible how quickly the time comes around, so book in early!