She is VERY VERY good!!!
Had a couple of really good sessions with Antsje this week after completely loosing my patience with her at the begining of the week!
I always feel really horrible when we fall out, but it seems to have done the trick as she has come back from LALA land and is far more attentive to me both on the ground and ridden.
She has this habit of just rushing straight through you, whether it be on the ground or through your aids when ridden. Some of it is due to her being anxious and some of it is an evasion from working properly. The trouble is she is such a powerful horse it is hard not to get taken over by her! So after her keep rushing ahead in hand on Tuesday, I really got quite insistent with her that she listen and do as she was told and quit ignoring me!!
We did lots of backing up, walking, halting , and if she didn’t halt as soon as she was asked, we backed up and repeated the process again…………….and again……………and again!!!
We also worked very hard on stepping over with the HQ’s in Giravolta and Shoulder-in in walk so when I asked her to move over I got an INSTANT reaction.
Sometimes she can seem so DULL to the aids, which is a bit of a contradiction in terms to her ‘rushy’ behaviour, but even the rushing is dull to the aids as she just isn’t listening!
At the end, I could walk round the school and when I stopped, she stopped IMMEDIATELY and not because she had come to the end of the leadrope lol! So after a frustrating session we ended on a good note.
Last night I rode in the indoor school. Whether it’s the apparent confinement of the indoor or not, but she does seem to focus much better in here than the larger outdoor school where she seems to get very onward bound!!
We carried on the groundwork techniques to the ridden work and did lots of walk / halt / reinback work to get her listening to me. We then progressed onto lateral work in the walk to get her really listening to the aids and bent around my inside leg.
Then we did some trot work concentrating on transitions. She can fool you with the trot and you can think she is working well, but try and make a downward transition and you can see she is not really ‘on the aids’ but doing a controlled ‘tramming’ along! Working on just a few strides of trot and then making a transition to walk and then moving on to trot halt trot trans really worked wonders! I was really pleased with the work and she felt VERY good and very strong and balanced.
Then this morning we did in hand work again, confirming what we did the last two sessions and she was FAB!! Really tuned in and halting when I did, and moving away laterally from just my body positioning. Was a nice short and sweet session as she worked hard last night.
Got to keep up with this work now until it becomes second nature – we both need to sharpen up a little and become more reactive to each other. I have a BIG smile on my face today – she feels AWESOME when she is working nicely :-)