Today was riding session 7 of 7 from our video lesson 6. It was SO worth taking the time to set this 2nd lot of basic techniques down with Spirit. He started off bracy and very stiff on his right, a bit unbalanced and not sure about going forward but he is now getting lighter and lighter every time we ride, his right side is starting to yield nicely as long as I take the time to help him not brace, he’s moving into the open/direct rein from my focus/energy/seat/leg aids and is starting to be softer with the dhq/indirect reins too now. His back up is so light and we have started to think about transitioning up into trot. I’m so pleased with his progress and it’s helping to teach me all over again the understanding of where lightness and connection with riding comes from 🙂
< Spirit doing well with his Liberty Ground Tying exercise.
Riding coming along well and another video lesson coming soon >
Lovely online session with Spirit today in the newly set up agility area. I used a 22′ line and he did reply well on this length of rope, his circles were nicer in trot and also some nice canter on both reins which was great to see. He also did some good 1/2 circles over poles, between tight squeezes of a barrel and the fence in trot and over a jump. He also did some nice sidepassing along a fenceline 🙂
Continuing our NH journey Spirit is doing well with all the ground work and getting used to bitless riding now quite well, he’s certainly turning from my focus/outside leg and weight aids with more clarity now.
Today Spirit and I did some long reining in some bitless bridles. I wanted to see how well he went in them and to see if he’d long rein ok. He did really well 😉
Longreining in bitless bridles:
2) Light Rider
3) Dr Cooks
Long reined really nicely, rode for a short time trying out the Transcend which has no moving parts and is an easy Sidecue type of bitless bridle 😉
Another good play session with some Agility obstacles then riding in slightly bigger, different arena space.
Slowly getting more ‘engagement and first time for some canter circles.
Trying out the Transcend Double Bitless Bridle with Spirit, mostly using the Sidecue, upper reins today.
Then some more riding with just the rope halter/reins that he’s used to. To ride in a ‘bitless bridle’ needs great lightness of communication through good cues. The ones I use are ‘focus/breathing/seat weight/leg aids’ and he’s getting there but not enough connection to change from rope halter…yet 😉
Doing so well with placing his feet on things like pedestals, tarps, mats and hula hoops. I extended that with asking for individual feet over and back with a pole 😉
Really listening to my energy/breathing cues to draw and drive over the pole today.
Connecting but not bonding as I would like, I feel I’m training someone else’s horse and with that in mind and that he wants to GO and I want to HALT often I have put him up for sale to a genuine home so that I can help him find his forever home with someone that wants to ride him as fast as he wants to go and give him a job to do which he deserves.
I am very sad but know this is the best thing for him.
RIding going better today.
After really thinking things through and searching my heart I have decided that Spirit should go to a home where he will be ridden out and used more. He really is a lovely boy but our ‘vibes’ don’t match and I realised that what I actually need is an easy-peasy no worries kinda horse that can plod out with Stormy and Mark on a happy hack as I’ve not done that for years and miss it a lot. So, with that decision made I have been searching for a lovely new owner for Spirit to take him further in his education and give him some fun things to do 😉
Today a really nice lady called Gracey came to see/ride Spirit with a view to buying him. All went very well so am waiting to hear if she wants to take him on and work him on her farm and to do some XC and flat hunting with him in the Borders here in Scotland. If she does take him we will hopefully keep in touch and I’ll be able to go and see him when I visit the area when I travel with my teaching clinics. Very excited for Spirit, she looks a much nicer height and weight for him too 😉
Spirit and Gracey
She easily rode bitless but also took on my instruction as to how I’ve been riding him really well.
Spirit did some nice trotting around the arenas, 20m circles and a lovely back up too.
Today Gracey put a deposit on Spirit and he should be moving on 14th June. I am sad and will miss him but know in my heart that this is the right thing for HIM 🙂
Even though Spirit is in the process of moving homes I am continuing his ground work because it is good for him mentally, emotionally and physically.
Trot poles . Narrow gap . Back through gap . Trot over tarpaulin . Engaged circling . Jump .
Friday 14th June
Today wee Spirit went off to his new home with Gracey near Kelso in the Scottish Borders. I teach very close to where he is going so hopefully I’ll see him soon and every time I teach I will make some time to go and see how he’s getting along 😉
We took Stormy to lead and escort Spirit to the road where we met up with the Gillies lorry. Both horses did very well, calm, listening and leading well. Here’s some pics of the walk.
- Shelley – HorseSavvy