Sunday, 12 July 2009

One step forwards...............

TWO STEPS BACK!!!! Grrrrrrrr!!!

Rode yesterday and it was a tad frustrating to say the least!! She was in bionic mode and I could barely let get her to focus in walk :-< In the end I just let her canter round and round to blow off a bit of steam! Afterwards we DID get some nice work - very nice in fact, but I had to work a lot harder to get it than in my lesson :sad: Once I get back off my holiday im gonna treat myself to a little block of lessons until I feel my position is a bit more confirmed - im worried to death that im still not **right** :-\

On one hand, im relcutant to let Antsje just 'run' as im not sure this is helping with the 'stay with me' issues I have - on the other hand, maybe im better off getting into trot and canter early on and THEN getting her to focus on me?

Any thoughts??

4 comments:

Jane said...

You know her best, so do whatever feels right! Personally, I would err on the side of containing her and keep her under control and work on you, even if she is tense/wanting to go. Don't try to hold her with your body/seat alone until you feel she will listen to it. This may mean keeping more of a contact and having very high short neck for a while - but as you found, it will come when she's ready....

My feeling is if you let her have a blast every time she's onwards, you may exaserbate it - she may expect a blast every time she's onwards?

But each horse is different, if she settles well after a blast, then use it occasionally. Or if lungeing her has the same effect, do that? I'm not a fan of lungeing, esp to let off steam as I hate the effects on limbs etc. But do whatever works for you both.

If she were mine, I would just do walk halt walk halt walk halt forever, until she is really listening to your seat. Or if she's too much even for that, go for a hack, have a blast out round the fields, then come back and do some calm work after? I would definately leave the blasts for outside of the school. You only ever want to encourage calm and balanced in there!!

Plus, you'd be surprised how quickly they relax in school environment if when tense all they get to do is walk halt walk halt walk halt til calm and seeking rein, then leave. There is nothing they can get really really tense about if you don't let them get to the paces where they CAN pull the rug from under you.

It may take a few sessions, and I'd still let her have whooppeees out in the field/hacking, but you do need her calm, balanced and focussed on you in the school.

Remember what I said about got it - lost it. Try not to get frustrated as she'll know (-;

She is testing the boundaries, so consistency is the key, hence why personally I'd go for a hack to have a blast, then school after, rather than using big trot or canter in the school to get the extra zebedee out of her...

JMHO though, as I said, you know what works best. The thing I've found has helped me with Magic though is me being consistent. So I don't go one day saying "yes ok, go big trot round" to start, I always do walk, hold walk from seat, practice halt, regain/don't lose walk in trans, and will only progress to trot when I "have" the walk and halt.

Keep going, just remember, she is USED to being in charge - even with you holding the reins and maintaining a certain speed/pace - as long as she was responsible for your rise etc she was in control... she's going to have to work through testing you every step because when she feels you really balanced, she will want HER control back :-) You want her to forget that, so if you use the big trot round/canter round and she can "take" you, then you are not convincing her that you have the control.... remember the "I am SITTING" - she needs to know you still mean it, even if its hard to reproduce!

Friesianluv said...

Hi Vicky,

Allowing her to blast might be counter-productive as she would not understand why she couldn't do it in the warm-up of a competition.
I know from personal experience that other competitors don't like the sight of a friesian in full flight bearing down on them!

Kate said...

Lots and lots and lots of circles and transitions - this will help her focus and rebalance. You can expect to have days like that as you establish new habits - it takes a lot of time to get those firmly fixed and until that takes hold both you and she will tend to revert to old habits.

HorseOfCourse said...

First - congratulations on the previous ride!
I believe it is Walter Zettl who has written about the "Good ride danger" - if we start by expecting the good feeling day two, we tense up. Which of course prevents the same results, lol!

Re. suplus energy.
I believe it depends on what sort of horse you have.
If you have one that gets more wound up by having some up tempo work in the beginning, then of course it is not a good idea.
But if your horse just needs to get rid of some surplus energy, and then is able to settle down and concentrate afterwards, then it is a very good idea!
When my horse was younger, she was a bomb waiting to explode sometimes. You cannot make them concentrate on the work then, you just have to get the energy out.
I used to canter her some rounds around the arena in a light seat, just letting her roll on in a nice rhythm and getting the tension out, until I felt her slow down a bit. Then we could go to work!