Tuesday, November 10, 2009

11/9/09 A Change in the Ride

Gathered up Ransom & all his things, and, remembering one of the discussions we had with Leslie at BRM, I decided I'd only ride until we got it "right", and then we'd walk it out & quit.

Warmed him up only long enough free lunge to get the brain cells firing, and I hopped on. I figured, "Heck, we rode with no warmup on Saturday. Ain't no reason I need to stretch him on side reins every ride. I can just get up there, work it out at a walk."

I hopped on, and we concentrated on free walk to collected walk a while. His stretches down were pretty good. I quickly remembered "hands out of the lap", and shortened my reins, and I noticed his walk got more animated, and I felt his rear swinging more. I transitioned to trot, and, again, felt a difference. When he finally settled into the contact, it felt like his back end was elevated. I honestly don't know how else to explain it.

We picked up a canter, and he tossed his head up. YuckO! Down to a trot, lather, rinse, repeat. Next canter trans was much better. Rode a few circles, and back to trot. On this shorter rein with my hands elevated that little bit, the down transition felt really smooth. Headed back up to canter, and that transition up was a little better.

Changed direction, and worked walk to trot a while, to keep the AntiCi-Pation low. In and out here got UGLY. I stopped him once with a harsh back up & some ugly words. Then, he had one of his mini tantrums, turning his rear end, popping his head, backing up, sidepassing, turning his front end, doing *anything* but going forward. I had to eventually release the rein contact entirely, and smooch him up to a forward trot. Worked the trot to walk to trot a while, then the walk to halt to walk. It got gradually better when he decided to settle back into work.

Repeated the trot to canter to trot a few times in this new direction, and, again, when things settled, I let him walk out on a loose rein a bit.

Back to the original direction, and the trot to walk was fantastic. Walk to halt, we had a bit more of that tantrum, but he settled.

When my hands were raised, it felt like he moved different -like he was coming from behind the entire time. It's really hard to explain. Gosh I wish I had some video of him doing it both ways , the old and the new. Maybe someone else could see it & tell me what was going on.

Rode for about 45 minutes. He was warm & a little sweaty, so I hosed down only the parts that were sweaty and his legs. Licking & chewing were enormous, so I can only assume he was enjoying himself.

Side reins & lunge line tonight. Then, maybe, if I'm up to it, some trot & walk work. I think tonight I'll move the side reins up on my surcingle, and shorten if needed. I'd like to see something replicate what my "new hands" are doing, so I can maybe learn from it.

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