Sunday, July 20, 2008

Returning to the arena

This is my old arena...many distractions and very small. Horses parked on both walls either in stalls or in a pasture that connected to the arena wall. I really don't miss those kinds of distractions for my uppity Thoroughbred mare! It made staying on iffy somwtimes....night riding was the calmest usually since the tractors and blowers and horses were mostly done and in stalls.

I actually have not cantered inside for some time....since I have moved to my new place..the arena flooded somehow and the footing seems unstable for us to circle in while you see, sometimes we fly off =in a huff for one reason or another....I apparently was using too much leg aide this day.. or it could have been the gelding standing on the side of arena. horses staring at her made her very mad!

I have enjoyed my lessons with my new trainer..but I am thinking it may be months before we even talk canter...just my long shot projection after my last lesson"keeping up" with my mare's movement in the trot. It is all we did this last lesson and it felt like running around the arena to me...I have done that unknowingly before, with out utilising half halts and direction changes like serpentine- to mark speed and regulate tempo. But, I do know i may keep up with movement now WITH OUT blocking the tempo!

Soo, one of these days I will attempt to canter again inside...she tends to tear out a bit even when I ask outside on the trail. So, I do need some advise...maybe trying the leg yield inside to outside again, then to canter. Disguise it and minimise it.

All I know is that my mare is super sensitive and I must be also!


  1. Your "old" arena looks familiar, only the last time I saw it the stalls hadn't yet been built...if it's the one I believe it is.

    Hang in there. My Arabian gelding didn't blast off at the canter...he didn't want to pick it up, and when he did it was a Mixmaster gait. Very difficult for an amateur rider to correct and ride. And even proved tricky for my then-trainer. But we've worked through it.

    Amazing how similar our horses can be to getting the feel of a clutch with a manual transmition!

  2. I would suggest a full week of passenger lessons at the trot and canter. 20 minutes trot, allowing her to go where ever she wants on a complete loose rein, shutting her down only if she breaks gait and ask again to trot---squeeze, cluck, spank if she walks...graduate this into the canter on a loose rein...allow her to go where ever she wants. I think this exercise would be very liberating for Wa. I loved what this did for Maddy....we were fighting around the arena and once I let her determine her path, she has decided it is just as well that I lead.

  3. Thanks Jules, I have always wanted to do this with Wa...but need to have solid footing and solid walls. I have the solid walls now...but the footing.
    May see about new place and have Dan and His wife help me out on this..I am in agreeance with you all the way...and would love your support too! XO Kac

  4. I am hapy to report that the Passenger sessions I recently have been employing are making a nicely soft differance in my mare's attitude...Yippie! Maybe I will get to canter for my clinic after all!(and not be too scarey!)


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