Bella – April 2020

Thu 2nd April

Bit windy to do any much today but we practised for our 2nd obstacle challenge which we have a week to practise, this week the obstacle is one POLE πŸ™‚

For a bit of fun after practising pole work I took Bella to the pedestal. She has a very solid front feet up on it now and today I asked her back right up with a rope and when she left that there for a while I went over the other side, she shifted her weight forward and picked up her last hoof up onto the ped…I was over the moon….AND she kept it there while I rewarded her big time for this effort πŸ˜‰

Here’s the video of her doing her FIRST 4 feet on pedestal….

 

Sat 4th April

Today we had another FIRST for Bella today….a short ‘walk out’ with Stormy. Hopefully this will help her familiarise to things outside her field and get her ready for hacking out later on. For our first walk out we went out of the lower gate, down a small hillock, over the wooden bridge and into the big field called ‘the haugh’. The field is quite big so we just walked straight across it to the edge of the river….we all rested a bit, Mark found a stone wall to climb onto to mount Stormy and we walk back to the bridge. Then I give Bella’s lead rope to Mark and he ponied her back to the field while I took my time walking.

Me and our beauties

 

 

< getting Storm’s bareback pad and bridle on..all ready to go

 

Bella led for the first half, Stormy wanted to graze, Bella doesn’t know that’s allowed πŸ˜‰ >

 

 

 

 

 

< B watching S go across the wooden bridge

 

Me and B crossing the bridge nice and calmly >

 

 

 

 

 

< all the way to the river πŸ˜‰

 

On the way back we walk calmly and Mark walks Stormy in circles around us >

 

 

 

 

 

< Bella really connected to me even though Stormy circling us

Stormy showing that a piece of silage plastic is nothing to be worried about, Bella says ‘I’m not worried but I don’t want to touch a piece of old plastic thank you’ >

 

 

 

 

 

< Big hill coming up, I can walk it slowly and Mark can lead Bella off Storm πŸ˜‰

Easy over the bridge together >

 

 

 

< Storm like to canter up this hill…Bella keeps up with her huge trot

waiting for me to catch up..both calm and happy >

 

 

 

 

< last trot to the gate for home >

 

 

 

This is the route we took, there and back πŸ™‚

 

 

Sun 5th April

Today we went out and I played with Bella already saddled up and then rode her for a bit. It was a bit windy and she was good but had sticky feet a bit to start with but then got going ok. I’m thinking of making a rectangular or square arena to ride in, it might be a bit more interesting for her….we’ll see πŸ˜‰

 

We are working on more movement in the games now so half circles and circles I don’t stay static in one place but walk about a bit so she gets different obstacles or space to walk or trot in.

 

Her leg yields on a circle with ‘feel’ game (hadn on her side to represent my heel when riding) are coming along nicely and we even had some leg yields with ‘focus’ game too (this is where I use my ‘focus and intent’ to move her over at a distance)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Circles on the move where we came up to the scattered poles…she was fab over them, really looking and knowing where her feet and energy was πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting ready to ride and a bit treat after her play session.

 

 

 

I then had a nice ride in the round pen with a FIRST of getting on her from the right side πŸ˜‰ She didn’t bat an eyelid about it and that’s one thing about her, she has no previous training so doesn’t have any hangups about doing things that the rest of the horsey world find strange πŸ˜‰ It was a nice ride, some sticky feet to start with but let her have her stops, her rests and time to think then asked again and continued for a bit longer today. Her Lateral Flexion to left and right are really nice and getting light and soft, she needs some more work on her DHQ’s left and right as she thinks about bracing every time I ask SO I have to find a way to ask even nicer for her so she doesn’t think about that and does some nice hindquarter moves. All going in the right direction.

 

 

 

 

Tues 7th April

Started off with a really nice play session online with the start of ‘touch it’ with her nose to a cone, circles, fig 8’s and rope around spins.

We also did a first by putting the half circle by a fence together with sidepass which she did really really well, was blown away by her flexibility and ease doing these two together πŸ™‚

 

 

< Touch itΒ 

Circles, fig 8’s >

 

 

< Rope around spins

Half circle….>

 

 

 

< …to sidepass >

 

 

 

 

I then play walk/trot circles with saddle on and my noisy, flappy, tassled half chaps. Not wanting to wear them without testing in case the noise upsets her but she took it all in her stride πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Today I decided to try to ride in the larger agility area with Stormy to help bring some movement, confidence and maybe a stride or two of trot. What I found out was (1) she likes consistency so changing arena was strange for her (2) she listened to me more than wanting to be with Stormy so that tells me we’re well connected (3) think she needs a PURPOSE to why she goes forward (4) think straight lines are better than curves/corners especially if wanting forward…SO….with that in mind I will change the set up for next time we ride and see if P2P’s (Point 2 Points) work for her like it did for my Tara in the past. I gave her a rest after this and watched Mark riding Storm about the field and then I re-mounted and rode her in the round pen which was better with forward motion but I pressed her for more and eventually got it.

 

 

Riding around the cones and Stormy who stood still for a while in the centre

 

 

 

Seeing if Bella wanted to follow Stormy but she wasn’t overly keen

 

 

 

So asked Mark to stand still again and we circled then fig 8 around him and the cones.

 

 

 

Thurs 9th April

Today we went out for another lovely walk with Me & Bella, Mark & Stormy. Down to the field below our one and along the river for a bit. Bella was calm, attentive, didn’t worry about where Stormy was and decided that taking aΒ  bit of grazing was okay which says she was relaxed πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I then rode Bella in the agility arena. I was looking for more forward motion, less stops and after last few rides I realised she needed the 3 main things that horses need when being ridden and they are…’A DIRECTION, A SPEED and A DESTINATION’. Working in a round pen helps get momentum sometimes but for some horses it’s going nowhere SO to help Bella I placed a few ‘obstacles’ around the arena and started working on P2P’s (Point 2 Points) which will give her exactly those 3 pointers mentioned earlier. I think she needs to know what/where/why….this is helping πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Fri 10th April

Another dry day outside so Mark and I go for another walk out with Bella and Stormy. This is our 3rd walk out and each time it’s slightly different. Today we went down into the field by the river but walked along the back edge and then out, up a track to a gateway and then up another muddy track back to the field right next to the horses one, so a lovely circular walk. Bella was calm and connected to me, she didn’t worry about where Stormy was (she knew where he was) and whether he was in front, behind or trotted past us πŸ˜‰ She stayed connected to me and it was a lovely pleasant walk together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just a lovely walk, not too far but expanding our horizons each time we venture out πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

After the walk I rode Bella with our 2nd attempt at P2P’s…now that she’s got her direction, speed and destination she seems quite happy to go where I ask her, I’m trying to give her a loose rein as much as possible without her feeling lost so that we start to get our riding cues of focus, energy, seat weight and leg aid better. Here’s today’s short video of how it went πŸ˜‰

 

She is also coming along nicely with her head down for bridling…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sat 11h April

Our 4th walk out….going so well and enjoying it enormously. Today Mark and I shared riding Stormy and leading Bella which meant I didn’t have to walk the whole ‘walk out’.

 

 

After this lovely walk I saddled and played with Bella before riding…

 

< Working on P2P’s from the ground

Point 2 Points using S2M >

 

 

 

AND then I went to ridden P2P’s. These are really working well, she loves having a purpose and giving her a ‘DIRECTION, SPEED & DESTINATION’ makes sense πŸ™‚

< Much better forward walk with P2P’s

 

AND…we had a few strides of TROT today >

 

 

 

 

Sun 12th April

Today I managed to film a lot of the new HS FB GROUP CHALLENGE – 4 CONES πŸ™‚ It’s really stretched my imagination and also Bella’s learning while enjoying it a lot. After playing I saddle Bella up and mount on the right again, she has no problem with me mounting on either side which is great and the P2P’s go very well, we even went over poles and through the bunting narrow lane which I’ve used for agility. So proud of this lovely girl πŸ™‚

 

 

Tues 14th April

After a lazy day yesterday I went out with two things in mind to do….another cone challenge video for later and to see if I can teach her to sidle to the mounting block. She learned the cone challenge well, got that filmed, just two more to do AND she was a total star with sidling to the block…..here’ s a video of it…

 

I then wondered if she’d stand on the pedestal…she has been putting 2 feet on easily so I wanted to see her do this at liberty after our session. She was so good with 2 feet I helped her with her backs…what a star…blow away with her understanding, patience and willingness, here’s the video of it…

 

Wed 15th April

And today I had some play/riding fun first with Stormy and then with Bella and our FIRST today was Bella offered some lovely, soft, slow TROT STEPS…our proper first ones and it was lovely. Here is the P2P vid from today where she did fabulously well with her walk and then trot at the end.

 

 

Sat 18th April

Lovely sunny weather today after two days of really cold windy weather SO out to the horses at lunchtime and what a nice time I had. I rode both Stormy and Bella again and both did very well. Really enjoyed it and think they did too.

Lovely ride with Stormy today, up and down hillocks, nice trot and canter and suppled me up ready to ride Bella.

 

We had some noise when I was just about to get on Bella. The estate owner and friends came up to check on the land behind and to the side of our horses field to check their new trees, they were talking loudly and kids giggling etc and although Bella was slightly distracted she did really well to listen to me as well as keep an eye on what was going on nearby.

 

I changed our routine today because she had slightly sticky feet so we did P2P’s which started and ended at the mounting block and then weaving and serpentines inbetween and that turned out very nicely and helped us get into doing more turns instead of just straight lines πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sun 19th April

Today I decided to try playing in a different area. I wasn’t sure what would happen but knew that a new environment would be a challenge for her. I have a big arena area that I put 6 jump wings into so we could hopefully ride P2P’s in but I always like to check out the ground work connection before doing something like that just to make sure it’s okay and even though this is an area she grazes in it doesn’t mean she’s ready to play there. So I groom her and halter her up with a 22′ line on and went to play.

Consistent things were: Circles, touch it with her nose, changes of direction, walk, trot, halt on breath out.
New things were: Area and moving circles.

What happened: Well, at first she was sceptical, then she got quite emotional and had bursts of canter but as I played very consistently and keeping my energy down, my focus on each part of the games that she already knows and treating for relaxation at a halt/touch it with her nose to the jump wings she started to ‘get’ what the game was. She started thinking and before I knew it she was doing moving circles in trot or walk, whichever I asked for, and spotting the jump wing we were going to and doing LEG YIELDS to get to the destination. I was SO proud of her and it was lovely to see her relax and become confident in the game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tues 21st April

Well it’s really sunny with blue skies here but with a wind whistling down the glen like a banshee ;( But out for some horse play as it’s always lovely to be out with them especially in sunshine. I played with Bella exactly as before with the jump wings doing w/t/c moving circle P2P touch it’s and she totally just GOT IT big time. Her gaits were calm, she searched for the jump wing to stop at and did it brilliantly. Here’s a video of her doing it…

AND then I got to ride her for a wee bit. I am still doing P2P’s but added 4 jump wings in the centre for a place called X. With these obstacles I can now try to give her another new pattern which is X box. This is where X in the centre of the 4 jump wings becomes the ‘place of change’. At first I do a circle and always stop at X, then I can ask for more and each time we come back to X that is where something can change…so it gives us a more unpredictable pattern. The changes at X can be, change of gait, change of size circle, change of how many circles so we could do small, medium or large circles on way only, then get the other way, make fig 8’s and then onto a clover leaf pattern so we can have many consistencies and many changes all in that one X pattern. Here is some pics from our first try…

 

 

Lots of turns

Lots of straight lines

 

 

 

More forward motion

More fluid arcs

 

 

 

Great focus

Great through scary corridors

 

 

Pattern slowly making sense

X becoming a place to halt

 

 

 

P2P’s becomingΒ  better

Barrels a place for treating πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

Thurs 23rd April

Lovely sunny day again and the wind has died down a wee bit making it even nicer to be out with the horses.

 

When I was getting ready it was fun to see Bella go through the bunting lane and stand by the barrel warming up for her P2P’s completely on her own πŸ™‚ lol

 

 

 

We started off with some basic moves including sidepass which she does fabulously well…so supple.

 

 

 

We then did some P2P’s together online showing her what we’ll be doing today.

 

 

 

She did really well in walk and trot, stopping each time at the obstacle with my breath out.

 

 

 

 

I then introduced the big ball…..I wasn’t sure how she would take to it but apart from wondering what it was she wasn’t really phased.

 

 

She was okay with me picking it up and putting it near her, she wasn’t sure she wanted to touch it but we worked on that until she wasn’t thinking about it so much.

 

 

 

Me moving it away and her following it really helped bring out her curiosity and at one point Stormy came over and helped her become more confident with it which was super cool of him πŸ˜‰

 

 

Didn’t bother when I pushed it underneath her belly or put it on her back.

 

 

 

And also she wasn’t really bothered with it being bounced near her. We have a Ball Challenge coming up at the beginning of May so this will be something we can work on well I think πŸ˜‰

After our play session I got on and rode some P2Ps. She was great heading to each obstacle in turn, moving forward with a nice walk and stopping on my breath out.

 

She went over the poles well, very focused on her goal

 

 

 

AND because I put some treats on the two barrels which have a fab long straight line between them she decided that that was a good motivation for giving me some TROT today. She managed 4 wee bits of trot and on the 4th one I dismounted and gave her a huge treat and finished the session πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fri 24th April

Another stunningly beautiful day and no wind so out with horses again today. I’m loving the consistency I can get when the weather is good πŸ™‚

Today we filmed most of our ‘Ball Challenge’ footage, she was really good with it all and the video will be up on here on May 4th which is the closing day of the challenge on my FB group.

Other than that practise we did some lovely leg yields online and then I rode her. Today we did more trot steps AND we went out of the agility arena onto the grass which has my two round pens and two circles made up of cones and tyres. I use this area a lot to train as it has straight lines and circles, we can do any gait, change direction, do fig 8’s, weave, clover leaf, X box and many other fascinating things SO today was out first day doing P2P’s to the tyres and on to my other nicely placed barrel which I put treat on πŸ™‚ All went according to plan and it felt good to be riding her in a different place. Here’s a short video of some of it….

 

 

Sat 25th April

Day off today, for me and the horses. I like to let Bella process lessons thoroughly so at least once a week or more we have a day off. If the weather is bad I stay in but if the weather is good then I can still go and hang out with them, groom, take them for a leisurely grazing walk and this is what we did today…a lovely leisurely grazing walk with Mark and Stormy. I still get to teach some ‘grazing game’ and ‘leading game’ so that she doesn’t learn to pull me or grab for grass and it isΒ  lovely bonding time for us as a herd πŸ™‚

I also trimmed her jawline of the long thick hair. It’s the only hair I trim usually as I hate it getting caught in the halter/bridle and pulling. It makes her look so pretty, what a lovely face she has. Stormy looses his winter jaw hair now but I used to do his too πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sun 26th April

Not a bad day weather wise so out and about with horses again. Today I decided that by riding Storm and leading Bella it would be a good way to get her familiar with being ridden in different area’s SO today’s area’s were the round pens and my tyre and cones circles πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

I then tacked Bella up and rode her in the area’s we’d already been over with Stormy…it worked very well πŸ˜‰

 

 

Started off in the agility, going around the outside of the agility and over some obstacles.

 

 

 

 

Then we went out and about in the field going to tyre towers, cones and the barrel out there working on the P2P principles still.

 

 

 

And we had quite a few longer TROTTING sessions today too πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

And in the end we had a lovely wee Liberty session where she put feet up on the pedestal and did S2M backups/walk/halt AND trot πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Tues 28th April

Had a grey rainy day yesterday so a day off for us all but today is grey but not rainy so got out to continue me and Bella’s journey. Firstly we did more leading off Stormy to get thatΒ  better and to make sure she has tried to go off both sides which she hasn’t done before…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vid of Storm & Bella trotting together…

 

 

I saddled Bella and had a quick play and then again mounted from the right today and then rode her in the agility area and outside in the main field. She is getting the hang of her transitions of halt/backup/walk/trot and we had more trot today than last time AND we pushed the amount of treat times further apart so we got some nice circling around the cone and tyre obstacles before being treated today which was a huge bit of progress πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short video of Bella trotting…

 

 

Thurs 39th April

Last day of April, it’s been on/off rainy and cold here but managed to get out for a little bit before rain started again. We also managed TWO FIRSTS….’

1) Sidepass ‘together’. She got this pretty quickly
2) Sidle to the mounting block on the RIGHT. This was hard but she got there and when I went to get on her to ride she offered her right side πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And then I rode a bit with Mark and Stormy and then on our own to get out and work in the big field slowly getting more confident about riding further and putting in more ‘patterns’, today we did some circles, weave and fig 8’s. A lovely end to April, bring on May πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy

 

 

Spirit – April 2019

April already and Spirit has been with us for 10 weeks now. His mane and tail are growing out and getting longer and he has really settled into our herd beautifully. His training has been coming along and he remembers it all when I’m often away teaching for me to come back and get back into it all without a hiccup which is great news.

 

Fri 5th

Local Equine Osteo ‘Emily Cuthill’ came by to give Spirit a check over today. I wanted to make sure he was ready to be ridden more and giving him a therapy session really helped. He was pretty good but some mild stiffness in his shoulders, sacrum, sacralilliac and diaphragm was worked on and sorted so that I have no worries about getting on with the ridden work now.Β 

 

Sat 7th

Today I decided to put the techniques Spirit and I have already learned to a purpose with some ‘game challenges’ with Mark and Stormy. It’s a lot of fun and helps us start to have longer conversations around the obstacles we use.Β 

Its lovely having Stormy showing Spirit how to do things, it was like he was showing off how clever he is… It also gives Spirit confidence to try everything.Β 

 

 

 

We also practised squaring up and siding to the mounting block which went very well πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fri 12th

Was away for a week teaching and was worried that Spirit and my relationship was going to suffer but as often happens the break was ok, he had time to rest and think and came into today’s session happy, relaxed and ready to play πŸ™‚

I decided to do some Agility tasks to again put the games to a real purpose and Spirit did SO well with them all… It was alot of fun and he’s really impressed me with his curiosity, calmness, willingness and connection. Here’s some pics from the session….

 

 

 

Foot in hoop

Trotting circles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walk calmly over tarp

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start of jumping

 

 

 

 

 

 

Touch cone from a distance and then flapping flag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pedestals πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sat 13th

Mark just put together a fabulous ‘scratching post’ for the herd with a very long post in the ground and some great long brush heads on the sides and top…..today I spent some time familiarising the herd to this new fun piece of equipment and am hoping to see them using it soon πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

Familiarisation with Stormy and the scratching post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tara and the scratching post, she likes a rump scratch so hoping she finds this useful πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spirit was the most curious about the scratch post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sun 14thΒ 

Today Mark and I went out to play with Storm and Spirit together in the Agility area. Working on our connection and putting our techniques to a purpose more and more it was a lot of fun. Stormy first worked with Mark online and then with me at liberty but he was constantly there whilst I was playing with Spirit which was lovely.

Spirit did well with:
1) Learn to take some trot energy and put in a jump with a half circle then take that jump half circle and make it a circle and then after that we tried our 2nd circle/jump/change of direction to go back to a circle and do the jump the other way πŸ™‚ impressed with his understanding of my body language and cues so quickly now.

2) Put just ONE foot on the medium sized tyre pedestal….he got this cue straight away.

3) Weaving through cones and understanding my body cues again so quickly….upright and towards him means forehand move/go away and slumped a bit and turn away means draw towards on the side/forehand towards πŸ™‚

4) Following behind me slowly through the labyrinth obstacle…he didn’t touch the poles once.

5) Trotting over the trot poles, firstly using a circle game which helped him get into gait easier and then with the half circle game which required him to go up into trot straight away to be able to trot the poles. He did the poles very nicely without touching them and also was stretching nicely with his legs and raising his withers and back more than before. Osteo did a good job πŸ˜‰

6) Going through the shelter/tunnel at liberty a few times without rushing it, facing it afterwards and also transitioning in it πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

Thurs 18th

Lovely weather today so out with the horses and Mark for some fun and filming next lesson with Spirit. We had a nice online training session first which had us practising some techniques and starting new ones. Here’s some pics…

 

 

Placing a foot on something has been learned well as now I can ask him to put his foot in/on most things.

 

Am slowly asking him to think about bringing 3-4 feet onto the big pedestal, he doesn’t understand this cue yet so I helped him learn it by placing a hind foot up on the ped with my hands πŸ™‚

 

 

More circling, this time we’ve got it to 4 laps in trot on both sides and am slowly bringing in a change of direction (COD) to build for our fig 8’s.

 

I put this drain pipe up inside the tyres today to make it a slightly higher jump. He walked over it several times and then when we matched our energy he jumped it nicely πŸ™‚

 

 

 

First time with focus/sidepassing, using the big deer fence along the field boundary helped a lot.

 

 

 

After a nice play which helped us connect through relaxation and the techniques for each game/task I saddled him and took him to a roundpen for some ridden work. We have started his bitless journey with a halt/lateral flexion (LF) and now I want to expand on that with some disengagement to lateral flexion (DHQ – LF) and some forehand move (FH) to DHQ and LF….this all builds to where I can move all four of his feet in all four directions (forward/back/left/right). He did SO well today, all the basics went well, we moved his forehand with our outside leg and direct rein, we moved his hindquarters with an inside leg and an indirect rein and his LF was light and easy, he’s stopping on a big breath out beautifully in walk and we also added his backup which was a bit sticky at first but his second time was so nice.

 

Mounting from the off side today…his idea.
Standing still whilst mounting and waiting to be asked to move off all in place nicely.

 

 

Walking is better this time after having the equine osteo out, no swishing of his tail and very positive walking off. Working on DHQ and FH moves with COD’s and circles using both forehand and hindquarter moves.

Standing still for dismounting too is fab πŸ™‚

 

 

Sun 21st

More practise sessions while the weather is being kind to us.

Familiarisation: the flag is a hard one, he is a bit worried by it by his sides and behind hips but okay at the front or standing on it so more work to be done with flapping things, tarps etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Circles: He is doing very well with the amount of circuits he does, up to 4 in walk/trot now and I’m just starting to ask for a draw to finish as well as the disengage, the draw is to set up the Change of Direction (Cod) for more games later on such as fig 8’s. What I need to address soon is his high head/hollow back with the circles, I will first try the game on a longer, 22′, length rope and in our next lesson session I will be asking for leg yields off a circle which I hope will help him get his balance dynamics better for arcing the circles πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Riding: Did very well with squaring up and sidling to the mounting block today and a nice ride. We’re doing more bitless techniques (LF, DHQ, FH, BKup) but his right side is stiffer so we need lots of short sessions to try to unbrace his neck/mind with the DHQ (disengage hindquarters) but as he’s never done anything like this before it will take time and patience to help him get it.

I also put the sidling to the mounting block to a different use today to help him understand this more, I sat on the mounting block and he had to sidle over, both sides,Β  to help me take his saddle off. Always love putting a purpose to the games I teach to help them become more understandable πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tues 23rd

A bit windy today but out for a bitless riding practise session (this was 3 of 7 since videoing Lesson 6). Some things are moving on nicely, finding lightness with our forehand move (direct rein) and back up but a bit of brace with the hindquarter move (disengage/indirect rein) so we tried using a bitless bridle today as the reins work from the sides rather than underneath as with the rope halter but although regular moves still nice and light the DHQ is still stiff SO back to working slowly through it with the rope halter makes more sense and I know given the time he needs to understand it he will get it okay.

Pics of the four bridles I tried on him today…

 

The Transcend Double bitless bridle. Reins are just on the ‘sidecue’ part of it and the ‘curb’ is free at the moment in this pic,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Dr Cook’s bitless bridle (or cross under as some call it). Have used this one regularly with last horse SollyΒ  as it hugged him and made him feel safe, but it will be up to Spirit which one he prefers using.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Karen Rohlf Bitless Halter. A lovely bridle that was used by our old horse Holly, she loved this one as it allowed her face to be freer than the others and she stopped on a big breath out, we’ll see how well Spirit goes along as this and/or the Transcend will be the first ones I try as they are the least intrusive and rely on a good relationship connection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Light Rider Bitless bridle from Cynthia Cooper in Australia. Nice that all these bridles fit him nicely, once we have a focus/seat/leg connection I will try each bridle out to see which he prefers πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here he is set up to do a bit of riding today. Karen Rohlf bitless halter with reins and rope halter with reins over the top so I can use/try both individually πŸ˜‰

 

 

Riding with one set of reins and the other set knotted and secured to the saddle with a leather, poppered, strap.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thus 25th

Good session with ground work today, started working on circling COD (change of direction) to get more communication with his direction and my body language πŸ˜‰

 

 

Riding session 4 of 7 (from video lesson 6).
LF going well, finding some lightness but he’s still stiff to the right so just taking it slowly until he ‘gets it’ πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sun 28th

Session 5 of 7 (from video lesson 6).

Riding coming along now, we’re finding lightness now with the LF and DHQ on both sides now, allowing him the time to figure things out has really helped him learn and become confident with all the ridden changes. He is turning with the open/direct rein almost from my weight/outside leg aid and I’m only using a light rein if needed. The DHQ is light as long as I take the time to put my weight on the inside and inside leg on before the rein and we had our first trot today, just a few strides but a nice start to transitions. I will work on lowering his head/relaxation with our ground work more to help him do that when ridden πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mon 29th

 

 

I moved our Agility area from the corner of the field into the middle of the track today, mainly because the old agility area where the scratching post and shelter are has now become Tara’s paddock as she is getting older and needed separating from Spirit who was pushing her around a bit and she was tired and too old for that SO I moved some obstacles into an area where we can play with the boys without disturbing Tara. Spirit watched me doing it all but was still a bit ‘shocked’ to see the obstacles in that area so we went and played with them all to familiarise him to them again in the new environment πŸ™‚

 

 

 

I then took him into the new 20×40 area I’ve sectioned off for an arena and played/rode him. This ridden session is #6 of 7 from the video lesson #6.

With our ground work I’m looking to help him lower his head/relax when in trot. He’s started to do it when going over poles and when he blows out and lowers his head I dhq/halt him and reward/praise to help him realise this is what I’m looking for. Pic on left shows him lowering his head over the pole, pic on right he has just blown out and lowered his head πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Ground tying is coming along nicely now too πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I tried a Light Rider rope halter/bridle with rein rings on the side to see if side rings made communication easier at this stage, it didn’t and he’s becoming light from the regular horsemanship rope halter so I’ll stick with that for now. We have plenty of time to see what suits him but for now the basic’s are important to learn for us to connect with our riding πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lightness for LF on both the right and the left now πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

  • Shelley – HorseSavvy